Do not loft or hit across the line before the time is right. Hoard runs on top of hoarded runs. Food Rules No Chinese, noodles, potatoes, fried or otherwise, or junk food. No oil, no ghee, no sugar. Green, bright vegetables, rich in antioxidants. Golden Proverbs Learn your proverbs, boys. If both of you fail in cricket, boys, the three of us will have to sit outside Dahisar station and beg for our food.
Small thief gets caught. Do not discuss any aspect of his past, or what happened to your mother, with anyone. Twilight was her favorite hour. Manju remembered coming home screaming Amma! Thinking by herself. Planning something by herself. Perhaps planning to leave him and his brother and run away.
Manju breathed slowly. Total bullshit. What do you say, scientist? That was all the two men had done for three-quarters of an hour. Radha was the leader of this group of boys; one day he would be captain of their cricket team. The boys became louder and louder, as Radha swished his hands like a bandmaster before the swaying, singing cricketers. Only one boy, Manju observed, was not obeying Radha.
The moment he smiled, sickle-shaped dimples would cut into his cheeks. That was after their match with Anjuman-i-Islam. Dusty and sweaty, the cricketers had waited in a queue by the sugarcane stand, a reward from Coach Sawant for winning the match. Manju had stood right behind Javed. When seen from behind, his thick neck conveyed an impression of hidden strength as it expanded into his shoulders. The queue had moved in starts, and the sugarcane machine had made a tinkling noise as it crushed cane.
Before drinking his juice, Javed had lifted his ice-cold glass to the sunlight in an exaggerated flourish that Manju thought might have been meant for his benefit; then, as Manju observed, the powerful throat pulsed and swallowed the juice in one continuous motion. Now, from opposite points of the circle of white, their eyes met. Javed Ansari, the Muslim with the majestic nose, had risen up to his feet, making his black-panther limbs even longer.
Radha Kumar stopped singing, took a step back, and sat down. Now the fellow with the commanding nose was, in a very deep voice, chuckling. Manju drew closer to his big brother. Radha was not doing much better. With an open mouth he saw the black-panther limbs come closer and closer to him and his brother. You sit and wait with the others. Engine on, car gone. A magician came thirty years ago to a village in the Western Ghats with an elephant. Not an elephant that did normal work like moving logs with its trunk or pulling down trees, no.
It had a secret power, the magician said. He left the creature in the village square and walked a hundred feet away from it—too far for it to hear him. People gathered around the magician. Young Mohan Kumar was one of them. Three times. Mohan watched with his mouth open.
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That massive beast, with all its muscles, was helpless: It obeyed the brain waves of its master, it suffered the enchantments of his black magic. When he went back to work, Mohan, a thinking boy, had looked around at the other farmers toiling in the wheat fields, and realized: We are no more unmanacled than that elephant. This was a truth about life he had never forgotten, even after he had left the village and come by train to the big city. No one bought a thing from him. Heaving his bicycle over his head, he walked over the Dahisar River on the all-but-submerged bridge of bricks, then slammed the bike down and cycled through the cardboard WELCOME TO OUR HOME arch shielding his eyes from the gaze of the grinning politicians , past the broken homes and little shops, until he got to his own, where the sight of his neighbor Ramnath pressing white shirts with a stupid industriousness was so unbearable that he went to a tea shop for relief.
He squatted by his bicycle and blew on the hot tea. He seethed. I know what he is telling that visionary investor about me. He is calling me a chutney salesman. A thug.
A peasant. An idiot. Tommy Sir, I say these words slowly, why? So that even a man of your mental capacities may understand them. Here are two more words pronounced slowly for you. Do you know what they are? Do you know how to prescribe them? I have taught myself medicine and pharmacology. Tommy allegedly Sir: Where were you when my sons fell ill? Where were you when they needed someone to sit by their side and record their temperature every half hour? To the very place where you humiliated me. The moment Mohan Kumar began sipping, the legless man had to make noise on his flute in a corner of the shop.
This legless fellow performed every morning in the train station, and came here afterward. Holding up his glass of tea, Mohan Kumar looked at the flautist.
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Have pity on me. Think how much I have suffered in life. Please stop. The flour mill began its rumbling, giving off pungent fumes—it ground red chillies in the second shift, adding burning eyes to its customary noise pollution. Mohan Kumar kept looking. The legless flautist kept playing. Very impressed. He almost cried. For my lateness, forgive me. Can you read my T-shirt? Manchester United Gold Key Supporter. I have a cricket academy near Azad Maidan, did Tommy Sir tell you?
Australia is the reality principle in cricket, Tommy Sir: otherwise we Indians would think we were good at this game. Am I right, or am I right? A small square forehead, held tight by close-cropped hair, expanded into a powerful black brush mustache over a stone-crusher jaw; a white fold of fat at the back of his skull broadened down a thick neck into a wide chest and wider paunch whose width he exaggerated by letting his shirt hang loose.
His fleshy palms had clearly done no hard work, and yet he seemed to sweat a lot. You are a lucky man, Mohan Kumar. Like a gangster introducing a gun into the discussions, Mohan Kumar suddenly placed a white cotton handkerchief on the table. Within the handkerchief was something black and heavy; he unwrapped the white layers to reveal a very large cell phone, which he proceeded to squint at.
I congratulate you on shedding all inhibitions. Now, relaaaaaax. Has Tommy Sir told you the arrangement I am proposing? Since he was not allowed to be present when his sons were exhibited like buffalo at a weekly fair. In return, I negotiate for him in the future with Adidas or Nike or whoever wants him when he joins the Indian Premier League. Fair enough? It is not fair in the least. They will grow into the Bhimsen Joshi and Ravi Shankar of cricket.
From a slum. Hungry Lions. Pepsi, Coke will love those eyes and hair. He will act in films one day, I say. The investor proposed terms. And he has the right background. Because a middle-class boy can no longer make the Bombay team. You saw for yourself what that Javed Ansari did today. He has everything, money, background, pedigree, but he will never make the team.
He comes to practice in an air-conditioned car, with nurse and driver. It was one of those moments when Tommy Sir realized his age: A decade ago, he would have got up and walked out at this point. Four thousand. Are we done? And fifteen thousand for both. Two is the opportunity. People want sport and a story.
I know, because I am also a writer. Two brothers from the slums making it big. One of them looks like a film star. To which I give the answer: Indians, my dear, are basically a sentimental race with high cholesterol levels. Now that its hunger for social realist melodrama is no longer satisfied by the Hindi cinema, the Indian public is turning to cricket. Brothers X and Y from the slums. Playing cricket for Bombay. I can see the potential. I once donated a lakh of rupees to a school in the slum near Cuffe Parade, back when I had just returned from New York.
You know what the Mumbai Sun did? Called me a hero, and printed my photo. Page four. But Brother Y is too young. Push and survive. In sport there is not always a difference between a boy and a man. What is cricket, anyway, Mr. Game of chance. Take two, one may win.
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He was not taking two boys. There are competitions, shields, trophies, prizes I have to get these boys into. No guarantee, but. Not one rupee. But I have a simple question, Mr. Mehta: Tell me, what makes a great batsman great? Hard work? Each is necessary, yet all together are still insufficient. It is a shroud before my eyes. Done deal? Final offer. Manchester United Gold. For Lata, my daughter. He clapped his hands. I flipped him over and screwed him royally. Come and see. A contract.
One third of all future earnings of my two sons Master Radha Krishna and Master Manjunath will be the legal property of Shri Mehta, in return for his commitment to sponsorship. May God fill our mouths with worms if either breaks this contract. Words are magic, remember this: Words are magic. There is a man who comes to our village and with a spell and a secret poem he makes an elephant dance for him.
Today, I made a rich Gujarati man dance for me. Made him sit down and bought him a samosa and told him about this flour mill and how it pollutes the air, until he said, Oh, terrible, how terrible, and then I said, There are rats and stupid neighbors, how can I raise champions here—so he gave us a loan, interest free, of fifty thousand rupees, so we can get out of this hole, boys! Screwed him. And when? Manju, stand outside. Stand at attention. Manju closed the tin door behind him and stood outside with his arms pressed to his sides like a soldier at a drill.
It was evening in the Shastri Nagar slum, and men were returning to their homes after work; their faces, dark from fatigue, glowed with the anticipation of seeing their children again. There are times when only a sick man knows how warm and bright the rest of the world is. Manju watched his neighbor, Ramnath, showing his daughter how to stack up a pile of fresh shirts and cover them in newspaper, so that they could be delivered in the morning.
I can see in your eyes that you are thinking of shaving. On a coconut tree beside their hut, Manju saw a woodpecker hammering away. He thought at once of Mr. Working with his beak—tap, tap, tap—the woodpecker raised his enormous profile, which looked like a tribal mask, and disappeared, only to reappear half a foot higher on the coconut stem—tap, tap, tap—before his dark face again vanished, to rematerialize another foot higher: as if he were ascending via masks.
The tin door opened; one brother came out, and so the other had to go in. Now safe, Radha buttoned up his shirt, looking at the dark sky; he whistled. He put his hands on his thighs, spread his legs, and walked like a duck. To build strength on the insides of his thighs. The brothers had exchanged their roles; inside the closed tin door, Manju was now the one making noises—outside, Radha eavesdropped. What are you doing? Stay still. Outside, Radha kept walking with his arms on his legs like a duck, as his father had taught him, conscious with every step of the need to build up his weak inner thighs and overcome the flaw in his otherwise perfect body.
Manju felt his body splitting in two where his father touched. He said something. Certainly he had not said that. So his father zipped him up: weekly inspection done. Leaning against the wall as his sons did their pre-sleep stretching exercises, Mohan Kumar made a call to his village in Alur, to check on the status of a piece of ancestral land that was tangled in litigation; the boys saw their father use his cell phone as if it were two parts of a walkie-talkie, placing it in front of his mouth when he spoke, and transferring it back to his ear to listen.
Already in bed, waiting for his father to turn the lights out, Manju watched his elder brother dry himself and lie down in the bed next to his. What is that one thought? Quickly, so I can turn the lights off. Complex boy. Fighting with his own. I look into your heart and see the truth. No one has loved your poor old father in his life but you, Manju, and now even you fight with him.
Yes, I know you are. The one thing I never had in life was a friend, Manju. A friend is someone who sees the best in you when everyone else sees the worst. I never had that. I only had you, my second son, to talk to. With you? Just examines my balls and cock. And lets me go. But I hate it. You know this, right? Buy you a bat. And you know from where? You know from where? Some men are handmade by God, Manju felt, and some are machine made—Mr.
Alfredo, for sure, was machine cut. With waxed mustache, black bow tie, and the halogen lights shining off his bald head, Mr. Alfredo would kindly open a glass case to show the brothers a row of his best imported bats; kindly let them gaze at the best imported bats and discuss the best imported bats, and on some days, when in the kindliest of kindly moods, even let them touch the best imported bats. Wombat Select! The first installment of the sponsorship money. Five thousand rupees in fresh cash. Rubbing the crisp notes between his fingers, he mentally divided them into three piles.
He put the cash back in its envelope, leaned against the door of his home, and looked up at the night sky. No one knew who built this arch; but this kind of stone was not found anywhere nearby, and some people remembered that there was once a statue of a king on top of it. After sunset, people avoided this arch, because elephants and wild boar were known to sleep under it; but one boy was brave enough to go near it at night, and he found the spot loud with bullfrogs and louder with the twinkling of the millions of stars against which the arch etched its black shape.
Sitting down on the forest floor, he looked up at all the stars, and felt himself a boy apart from all other boys in the world, resplendent, an uncrowned Adam. Mohan Kumar had grown up in the poorest end of a poor taluk: Ratnagirihalli in Alur, in the foothills of the Western Ghats. As a boy, each morning at four, he stood on the back of an open lorry that took him to a coffee estate. There he signed his name in a long green register. Then he cleared twigs, dropped sunna from his forefingers in white circles around the plants, and watered the bushes, taking more care of the Arabica, and less care of the Robusta.
There was school for the rest of the day. He learned to read and write. This was something new for his family. His dowry went up. Sex: with a prostitute out in the fields; marriage: to a girl from his own caste; employment: with the landowner who had hired his father; pilgrimage: to Kukke Subramanya, in the mountains of the Western Ghats, as soon as his wife fell pregnant.
All this was as it had been for generations in his family. Mohan looked at the broken glass and remembered what a boy in Mumbai had done to the windows in his neighborhood. A boy named Sachin Tendulkar. Now Mohan Kumar stood by passing trains and trucks and saw them in a different light. He observed highways and mighty things in a different light. He saw the sun, high over the peaks of the Western Ghats, charge from cloud to cloud like a soul in transmigration.
Mohan, Mohan—how people laughed. Why Mumbai? Bombay it had to be. He had tried photocopying books, binding them, and selling them near the station; the police arrested him and kept him in lockup for a night. Ten lakh books are sold in black in Mumbai every day and he has to be put in lockup! Big Thief Walks Free.
Small Thief Gets Caught. A year later he discovered his wife was fucking a Christian man near the train station. He waited for her, and bolted the door behind her. Never tell your mother lies, never tell your wife secrets. That was a golden proverb, why had he ever forgotten it? He made up for it with his hands. Can you believe what they do to a man in this city? One night he returned home and found that she had run away with his money and his honor. So he had nothing left; he lay in bed, and stared at the ceiling, and thought, I should just kill myself. Though there was no one else in the room, he heard fingers snapping in the dark.
Taking the bus all the way to a spot in Bandra where one could observe the new skyscrapers of Prabhadevi and Lower Parel, Mohan Kumar clenched a fist and held it over the kingdoms of Mumbai; after closing an eye to perfect the illusion, he brought his fist down on the city. Old Sharadha came in every day to do the cooking. She made chutneys from green mango, lemon, and raw guava, and Mohan Kumar tried to sell them. At the age of five he made Radha grow his hair long and pose with the bat for a black-and-white photo exactly as Sachin, Bacchus-haired, had posed at that age.
Around this time, his second son also began to break windows when he was playing cricket. You were snoring. Just like you. Did you see the money? You never saw these magazines? Appa has no dirty magazines. Only girls do that. Manju looked at Radha. Let their father become old: They would make him beg for every rupee they gave him. This reading group guide for Selection Day includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Introduction From Aravind Adiga, the bestselling, Booker Prize—winning author of The White Tiger , comes a dazzling new novel about two brothers in a Mumbai slum who are raised by their obsessive father to become cricket stars, and whose coming of age threatens their relationship, future, and sense of themselves. Selection Day opens with a young Manju thinking about the darkness of kattale , secrets, and his mother p. What does this mean and why is this a key proverb for Mohan? How does this saying play out in the rest of the story?
How do superstitions affect each of the Kumars, on and off the cricket pitch? Both Mohan and Tommy Sir have a deep distrust of the male body, and they believe cricket helps boys to master it and ignore filthy urges. Why are they so suspicious of the boys and their natural instincts? How does cricket factor in? What does this reveal about Tommy Sir and his pursuits? After Radha begins to falter at bat, he rails against the sea. How does this difference characterize both Radha and Mohan?
What would Javed think of that statement? Is Sofia a mother figure in the novel? A goddess? What roles does she play? What does this hatred change for Manju as an athlete, as a man? How does hatred fuel other characters in Selection Day? Why does Javed create these personas and destroy himself in this way to get back at others?
Why is this such a painful realization for Manju? Does this play into his decision not to be a father himself p. In Hindu mythology the world is thought to rest on the backs of four elephants who stand on the shell of a turtle. Elephants are often masculine symbols, while turtles are feminine. What do turtles signify for Manju? For Radha? Why are they important? Why does Manju ultimately reject Javed p. How does this closing scene reflect the novel as a whole? Enhance Your Book Club 1. In honor of benefactor Anand Mehta, have Indian and Australian food and drinks with your group as you discuss the book.
See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Overview Manju ha un cuore puro e complicato come tutti i quattordicenni.
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E intanto, tra procuratori senza scrupoli, allenatori fuori di testa, un fratello bellissimo e destinato al successo, il giorno dei provini si avvicina Sa che deve avere paura e rispetto di suo padre, un venditore ambulante di chutney. He lives in Mumbai, India.
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Show More. Reading Group Guide This reading group guide for Selection Day includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. After Dark versione italiana. View Product. Amore fraterno. Una storia di gangster, morte, vendetta, legami famigliari, tradimento e colpa Una storia di fantasmi, forse. Don DeLillo scrive un libro scarno Boy, Snow, Bird Italian-language Edition. Da New York il caso la porta a Flax Hill, Sotto forma di aneddoti, Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
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