Life and Times of Shoshi Thakur-
Internal Timeline in square brackets.
Born Malda Town, 1970, as Ravi. Bihari father fugitive from law. Suspected of plotting to assassinate President. Bengali mother, who marries to escape village squalor.[Learning to stand on own feet early, learning to trust few people.] Till age 9, family of 3 move about from Malda to father's ancestral home in Giridih and from there to Benaras, staying for a few years at each place.[Sees and listens to people from many places. Learns never to settle down, to always be on the move]
Age 10, father is apprehended and shot 'accidentally' while trying to escape, in Benaras ghats.[Responsibility of a mother to look after toughening up Shoshi] Mother and Shoshi come to Kolkata under new names. Mother works in houses for a living, managing to send Shoshi to a school. Shoshi discovers a flair for football and debating.[Finds joy in comradeship in muddy fields and in being listened to by audiences in non muddy rooms] Age 18, enters Presidency COllege. Runs for student elections at 19,winning by big margins.
Age 22, jailed for protesting against police action of lathicharging students at a gathering.Acclaimed student hero.[Popularity, sees good and bad people from many sections of society. Obstinately dreams of changing the world.]
Age 26, runs state elections against the ruling party. Garners support,publicity. People talk about a wind of change. Identity of father discovered, allegations of corruption thrown at Shoshi by ruling party. Shoshi loses elections, resigns from party.[Ashamed at having a secret past he thought unimportant dug out. Devastated that a minor fact as that could remove him from people's favour.]
Age 27, Shoshi marries.[Seeking escape into the domestic.] Age 28, Shoshi leaves wife behind and goes to Tibet. Gains admittance to a monastery in North Tibet. Stays there in a room of his own and writes poetry secretly.
Age 32, Shoshi slips off mountainside and dies while on a search of a lost dog that used to live with him.
Times of Sochu---
Thwarter. Born Martin Goodson in 1930,London to Catholic parents.
25, takes up job of schoolteacher.
40, travels to Ichitaga in North Tibet.
44, Ordination to Sochu.
50, made Chief Abbott of Ichitaga Temple.
68, finds Shoshi dying of dysentery in a Tibetan house. Shoshi's delirious talks of philosophy and history attract him, and he takes Shoshi to his monastery, nursing him back to health and giving him a place to stay.