*A unique insight into an India never seen by tourists and a story of success against the odds.
While attempting to teach at an inner London comprehensive Will Randall is taken up by an elderly German woman who asks him to accompany her to India. Nothing ventured, he agrees and so begins a wonderful life-changing adventure. Set down in Puna (3 hours from Bombay) he begins work teaching English at a slum school. Most of the children are orphans or parentless (one lost his parents four years previously when his mother had let go of his hand at a railway station and he 'd boarded the wrong train ). When zamidars -slum barons - arrive and threaten to pull down the school Randall has to put on a fund-raising performance of the Indian epic The Ramayana in order to help the slum dwellers buy their own land. Meanwhile he's also been spotted by a Bollywood Director who persuades him to take the role of leading man in his new film.Will Randall is 'the teacher who travels' and, as in SOLOMON TIME, this is a funny and heart-warming account of how one man's enthusiasm and old-fashioned desire to do good have helped to preserve a community.
A refreshing read from a travel writer who hates travelling for its own sake. - INDEPENDENT
Randall kaleidoscopically evokes his changing perceptions of the country's extraordinary perceptions of the country's extraordinary diversity in a travelogue full of sensuous detail, humour and poignancy. - OBSERVER
A delightful book in the spirit of HINDOO HOLIDAY. - CONDE NAST TRAVELLER
He does not skimp on the dark, sad nature of survival and how its dividend is brutality- despite which his version of India aspires to be elegaic as well as chaotic. - SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY