A Mango Tree
Akash Ahuja

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Synopsis

Certain choices push a place beyond prophecies and resurrection. That is where Dhartipur is headed: an elusive tiger, a troubling settlement ─ Chhotopada ─ at the outskirts, and a rampant Border Security Force are only the smaller problems. The big one: the village lies on the Hindustani side of the porous Bangladeshi border that can’t resist playing children, illegally immigrating Bangladeshis, cattle rustlers and cough-syrup smugglers.

A barb-wire fence that the Hindustani government is erecting a hundred-fifty meters behind the porous border doesn’t list as a problem until Mooli, a destitute low-caste, finds that the fence would cut through his only land, leaving only a little inside Hindustan. It will be a while before Mooli finds out he was tricked into buying that land; that the seller knew of the coming fence much before anyone else.

Amidst all this, Tukai has reasons to be happy. Beside other reasons, his Bapi owns a mango orchard, and also knows the hills and forests around the village like nobody else; and lately, to the boy’s delight, Bapi has been teaching him things about the jungle. Then one day, troubled by his daemons, and without telling anything to anyone, Bapi leaves. Dhartipur’s melancholy, like a bunch a crabs, brings Tukai down.

The boy left behind and the man tricked then find refuge in Bhushan Majhi ─ the leader and guardian of everyone in Chhottopada. To Mooli, Majhi is a messiah standing beside him in his fight for justice. Tukai finds Majhi filling the void that Bapi left behind.

But hope can be both bright and blinding. From the blinding kind, emerge purposes darker than greed, fears potent than faith. Then in Dhartipur, innocent men, driven by fear and purpose, give in and make mistakes they would later regret. Redemption would cost more than they could offer.

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Reviews by the community

Amish Sharma

One of the most underrated books here.

Sep 10 '14
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Nalin Verma

Very interesting beginning to the story. Would love to read more.

Jul 25 '14
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Aditi Jigyasi

Waiting to read the complete book....A very interesting and engaging book...Awesome work !!!

Jul 20 '14
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shanti bhosale

Intriguing.

Jul 01 '14
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Jun 25 '14
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Neha Ahuja Mehta

Its just not an ordinary book. The characters are deep and intriguing. Looks like the story has many turning points. Eagerly waiting to see the book in Stores. Great effort Akash ! Way to go !!

Jun 18 '14
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Mohit Sharma

I would like to congratulate Akash for this gripping and engaging story. His narrative is fresh and keeps the reader thinking about what lies next for the characters. I would love to get my hands on the rest of the book.

Best
Mohit

Jun 17 '14
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Lakshmi Ajoy

All the best for a successful publication!

Jun 16 '14
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sri

good Read

Jun 15 '14
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Hitendra Chatterjee

A really nice and enticing way the story is written. Felt the depth of it Great effort

Jun 13 '14
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Shantheri Mallaya

Do I see a melange of Raja Rao, Ruskin Bond and R K Narayan? Very nicely done. Good luck!

Jun 12 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thanks, Shantheri.

Jun 13 '14
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Mahrukh Chikliwala

The prose is excellent.The characters we encounter in the first three chapters are well fleshed out.. The vivid imagery of the 'jungle and Dhartipura' breathe life and jump out of of every page. The first two chapters begin at a slow pace but the third is edgy and i want to know what happens next.

Jun 12 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thank you, Mahrukh.

Jun 12 '14
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Girish vyas

keep continue Will make a boom

Jun 11 '14
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Girish vyas

It's good start, getting attached to it.
Wish to soon read further Chapters of it.
Best of luck :)

Jun 11 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thanks Girish.

Jun 12 '14
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Ridhvig

Few lines of first chapter does remind me one's childhood days. Smooth sail in chapters. Best wishes:)

Jun 11 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thanks, Ridhvig.

Jun 11 '14
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Niyati Shinde

Interesting read. Would like to see how the story progresses further.

Jun 11 '14
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Sanjana Parikh

A very interesting start. The pace of the story is slow and one chapter down, I did not know where it was going. Description is very good and I can visualise the surroundings. However, I could not visualise any of the characters in the story, and I wish there were physical descriptions of at least the main ones, which would really help the story. There are few characters that are introduced in the middle but are then never mentioned in these 3 chapters. They could be introduced later in the story but then it just confuses the readers. I like how all the three chapters end. The story is interesting and a little bit of editing could help it come a very long way!

Jun 11 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thank you for your detailed feedback, Sanjana. Much appreciated. The characters are all described for their appearances in later chapters. Perhaps it was the flow that made this choice for me. The feedback on the pace is really helpful. I will look to fix it.

Jun 11 '14
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Jun 11 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thank you, Sifar. Would you share your thoughts about what you liked about the book? And what can be improved?

Jun 11 '14
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Ananthanarayanan V

Nice one. Interesting, looking forward to reading the entire book. All the best!

Jun 11 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thank you, Ananthanarayanan.

Jun 11 '14
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Anish Parihar

Very easy going and very well narrated. One can almost touch the characters. A well knitted piece. Will look forward to the book for a full read.

Jun 11 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thank you, Anish.

Jun 11 '14
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Shubhra Rishi

reads like a book that has been written from personal experience. Would love to read futher. :-)

Jun 11 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thank you, Shubhra.

Jun 11 '14
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Jun 10 '14
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Akash Ahuja

Thank you, Mohana. Much apperciated.

Jun 10 '14
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Mohana

A deeply evocative, enigmatic and effortlessly stylistic novel. So much of Amitava Ghosh in the way the story emerges from the dark shadows of a jungle at night...Akash seems intimately familiar with the landscape, the language and the nuances of the region. And he is a master storyteller. I would love to see this make it to a bestselling hardcover book deal. An amazing breathtaking debut novel. Has my vote - 150% and then some!

Jun 10 '14
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Mohana

This is my third attempt at posting a review comment. We try again and then we give up... (feedback to the website administrators).

Jun 10 '14
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Jun 09 '14
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Kanan Modi

A very imaginative and spiritual book. Offers so many lessons that you keep coming back to it. An absolute 'cant-put-downer'!!!

Jun 09 '14
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Sanjay Khurana

This looks promising and interesting. It straight away goes to my buy-ASAP list!

Jun 09 '14
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Ishika Vishvesh Pareek

Interesting style and story. Was left wanting to know whats next. All the Best..:)

Jun 09 '14
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About the author

Akash Ahuja Follow

An infant learning to walk the world. I crave love, food and books, I trek, travel and lounge around... searching for a 'walking' self.