Until one night when the ripe moon rose, casting cool blue shadows on the ground.He closed his eyes and played, recalling the river as it made its way down to the sea. Imagining the fish swimming through the currents like streamers in the wind. Then he played the wind itself, fading into a rustle between leaves before lifting to the sky once again.
Kalu’s life is one of struggle. A street kid, he has no family, and relies on his energy and his wit to survive. Yet he manages to make friends, people from all walks of life – Bal, the buffalo herder, Malti, a servant, and Gaga Ba, her wealthy mistress. But it is when he befriends a travelling healer that his life changes. Kalu, it seems, has a gift for music, and the healer’s brother is a talented teacher. Kalu finds himself removed from his friends and all he knows, as he follows his dreams. His new life is fulfilling, but also challenging. The biggest challenge is finding a way to believe in himself.
Dancing to the Flute is a beautiful tale of friendship and self-discovery, richly played out amongst the countryside and cultural diversity of India. Kalu’s story is woven with mythical tales, and the stories of Kalu’s friends, with heartache and tragedy balanced with joy and hope.
The author, Manisha Jolie Amin was born in Kenya to Indian parents and now lives in Australia, but her love and deep connection with India is apparent. This, her first novel, has heart and depth which transports the reader to India and into the lives of the characters.
Dancing to the Flute, by Manisha Jolie Amin
Allen & Unwin, 2012
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