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Ruchir Joshi

Author of The Last Jet-Engine Laugh

4+ Works 82 Members 2 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Joshi Ruchir

Works by Ruchir Joshi

Associated Works

Granta 109: Work (2009) — Contributor — 116 copies
Delhi Noir (2009) — Contributor — 90 copies
Granta 151: Membranes (2020) — Contributor — 42 copies


Common Knowledge

Places of residence
Delhi, India
Kolkata, India
London, England, UK



"I need new prayers, the old ones don't work anymore."

'The Last Jet Engine Laugh' is ostensibly a family saga covering three generations of the Bhatt family stretching from a period when India was on the cusp of independence from Britain to the near future; to 2030 when the country is at war with a Pakistan-Saudi alliance and his daughter, a crack fighter pilot, is above the earth as a member of a crew manning an Indian Space Station.

Paresh Bhatt, a once celebrated photographer who has spent much of his life in France before returning to live in India is at the centre of this book. He is writing backwards in time, the country has been devastated by interminable disputes with Pakistan which have included the use of nuclear and chemical weapons by both sides; waters are poisonous to drink, yet life goes on.

Paresh writes about the life of his parents, his own childhood and adult life, bringing a child, Para, into the world and how all of their fates have been entwined with that of India.

Joshi touches on a whole lot of themes including war, famine, shortages, political ineptitude but ultimately focuses on fact that in the future the lack of drinkable water and loneliness are likely to be India's biggest killers.

I found it a really difficult read. The main problem being that the timeline just isn't linear, instead it stops haphazardly over a period of roughly seventy years which simply left me confused.

Joshi can certainly write so I blame this, at least in part, on his editors. There are the bare bones of two if not three good books here but as a whole its a mish-mash that just doesn't work and left me disappointed.
… (more)
PilgrimJess | 1 other review | Feb 3, 2022 |
I really wanted to like this book, which I read for the Reading Globally India theme read, more than I did. It is an ambitious work, which combines a multigenerational story with a futuristic look ahead to 2030, along with some forays into environmental issues, photography and the meaning of reality, and space technology. I am glad I read this book, and I admire the author's ambition, but my feelings about it are mixed.

The protagonist, writing from the dystopic future of 2030, looks back at his own life as a photographer, son, husband, lover, and father; at his parents' lives, both real and imagined; and at the life of his daughter Para, formerly a fighter pilot and now on a military spaceship stationed above the Indian/ Pakistani border (a war is taking place between India and a Pakistani-Saudi alliance, tacitly supported by the US). At times the writing is beautiful and the story compelling, but at other times it is difficult to figure out what is going on, partly because of the untranslated Indian words (although the sense can often be figured out) and partly because it is often not clear what time period the novel is in or what is real and what is imagined.… (more)
rebeccanyc | 1 other review | Apr 14, 2010 |

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Sheba Karim Contributor
Paromita Vohra Contributor
Parvati Sharma Contributor
Abeer Hoque Contributor
Sonia Jabbar Contributor


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