Ghachar Ghochar – Vivek Shanbhag

Ghachar Ghochar

About Ghachar Ghochar

A young man’s close-knit family is nearly destitute when his uncle founds a successful spice company, changing their fortunes overnight. As they move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house on the other side of Bangalore, and try to adjust to a new way of life, allegiances realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter, and conflict brews ominously in the background. Things become “ghachar ghochar” – a nonsense phrase uttered by one of the characters that come to mean something tangled beyond repair, a knot that can’t be untied. Elegantly written and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humour, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings – and consequences – of financial gain in contemporary India


Set in Bangalore India we see how a family struggles to live within their means. Ghachar Ghochar is about a family that had a hard time trying to make ends meet before they get their lucky break. How they react then is another story altogether. The story is told by one of the family members. The aspect of family sticking together in everything fascinated me as every aspect of each and every member of the family’s financial decision is decided on by the family as a whole.
Ghachar Ghochar is a very short read, a book that is read in a matter of hours. We are taken through a family’s struggles of trying to live within their means on the survival of meagre income. It is a memorable book that helped me understand family from an Indian cultural perspective.



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