Author(s): Chandrahas Choudhury
ARZEE THE DWARF is the story of the doubly marginalized Arzee - a half-Hindu half Muslim midget who works as a projectionist in a decrepit Bombay cinema theatre called Noor. It is about Arzee′s extraordinary urge to find an ordinary life. As Arzee curses his stars and retreats from life, he is kept from sinking entirely into a morass of self-pity by a series of encounters - with Deepak the gangster, with old Phiroz, the outgoing head projectionist of the Noor, and his daughter Shireen. He is tormented also by the memory of one set of now-distant days when everything in his life had been beautiful, and he had felt loved and wanted, and no shorter than anyone else. Is there a chance that that time can somehow be resuscitated? Or is Arzee about to find that even the few certainties he now possesses are also chimerical?
"Arzee the dwarf is perceptive, tender, gritty, and funny. In his intimate, nuanced portrait of Arzee, a man searching for the ingredients of a normal life-a job, love dignity-moving and insightful" Vikram Chandra
The author is a writer and literary critic based in Mumbai. His reviews appear regularly in the Observer. The Sunday Telegraph, the San francisco chronicle, and Mint.