‘The movements of people change the world. The currents of change are turbulent. You wanted me to write a history, but history is a smoothing of ripples...’
It is the sixties and Britain is in the throes of a revolution with a difference. Recently graduated from Cambridge University, ‘full of mods, rockers, defiant young men with unkempt hair, and young women with the beginnings of the idea of a sexual revolution’, Farrukh and his girlfriend Natasha come to London to make their living, quite unprepared for what the city holds for them. Turned away repeatedly – by landlords, wary of their racial origin and directing them to the part of town ‘where Indians live’, and by bar owners keen to protect their local clientele – the defiant and indignant couple is drawn into a movement inspired by the American Black Panthers, claiming to fight for equal rights of minorities and all non-white immigrants in Britain. Farrukh and Natasha immerse themselves in leafleting, protest marches and surviving vicious racist attacks, unaware that they are, even within the movement, navigating a charged environment that is complex, contradictory and often disenchanting. Vividly portraying the internal lives of a fascinating cast of characters, this fictionalized memoir is about idealism, rebellion and street politics, and love and betrayal. Impassioned, honest and affecting, it traces the evolution of an immigrant writer who finds the courage to live, and write, on his own terms.
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