In his new novel “Home, Again!: A Novel of Identity, Self-discovery, and Tragedy” (published by AuthorHouse), Dr. Ulhas R. Gunjal narrates the exciting story of two individuals, a European mother and her Indo-European son, who are struggling to understand themselves on the shifting borderline between the Western and Eastern cultures.
Set against the events in Europe and India during 1928 to 1966, “Home, Again!” follows Angela Guttenberg and her son, Haldiram Johann Holkar. Much of the narrative is situated in Jejuri, a temple town in India famous for its Dhangar society. The story captures the experience of self-discovery, eventually leading to Haldiram’s tragic death and his mother’s agonized return to Austria.
An excerpt from “Home, Again!”
“I’m a mongrel child—an Indo-European, Austro-Dhangar, Hindu-Catholic hybrid. I’m above castes because, being a carrier of two bloods, I’ve no caste; I’m above religions because, being a worshipper of two gods, I’ve no religion. These lines become blurred; these distinctions become confused; these categories dissolve into me. When I was growing up in Jejuri, a dark boy with yellow hair, I was called a great disorder, a bafflement of nature, a biological error. That was their way of coming to terms with me; their way of making sense of my ambiguities; but I know better now. Far from confusing me, my ambiguities give me strength. And I want to put this strength to good use.”
“Home, Again!” moves from one landscape to the other—from Vienna to Jejuri, then back to Europe, finally back to India—and explores the fascinating struggle of the mother and the son to define who they are in a world in which the East and the West meet to produce complicated identities.