Chaddi Buddies is a light , easy and fun read. However, the novel has some underlying messages, which the readers will figure out for themselves. It is a story about Robert, a clumsy and weak boy, ridiculed by the kids from his village as well as his elder brother.But his ‘chaddi buddies’ Anand, Baloo, and their elder brother Dattya, the village cricket team captain, whom Robert regards as his ‘hero’, give him the courage and strength to live and fight the village bullies. Anand, Baloo and Dattya, are, in fact, the sons of a domestic help. That doesn’t really matter to Robert, for it is the unconditional love and support of the three brothers that keep Robert going.
There was quite a bit of Robert in my childhood, says author of this book Mr. Oswald Pereira. But now I seem to be a different person altogether. Deep down, though, the Robert keeps coming back. I love and cherish the memories of Robert in me, because he was such a sweet and innocent kid, who had strong emotions and was so idealistic and believed in goodness.
I wrote the story for people to know that we can all come out of our worst times with friendship, love and brotherhood. Many of the incidents in the book actually happened. I have taken the writer’s licence of dramatising them. The settings of the book, a village in Thana (now Thane) and the time period – 1950 to 1967 – are authentic. The characters, too, are real. But the book is not autobiographical, I must clarify.
I loved writing this book, the most, so far, compared to my earlier two books – The Newsroom Mafia, a crime thriller and Revenge of the Naked Princess, a historical thriller. As I ended a chapter of Chaddi Buddies, I would find tears clouding my eyes. The words came straight from my heart, the copy flowed. Yet, it was not easy to write and required a lot of control, to prevent the book from going out of hand.
Publishers of this book – Srishti Publishers & Distributors are very enthusiastic about the book and in their evaluation, the book can be compared to RK Narayan’s Malgudi Days ! The first couple of reviewers on Amazon, too, have compared Chaddi Buddies to Malgudi Days. They are talking about the incidents in Chaddi Buddies and the writing, which they say is simple, humorous and full of compassion for the characters, who are ordinary people, yet full of life and energy.The difference, however, is that Malgudi is a fictional place, whereas Golvada in Chaddi Buddies is real and exists even today, though it is now a concrete jungle. Golvada, of course, is not the real name.
Reading today needs to be made interesting for young readers too. That is what I have tried to do in Chaddi Buddies, though the book is meant for people of all ages – from teenagers, to young adults, to older adults, to senior citizens of 80 plus.
Chaddi Buddies has great nostalgic appeal. It brings back memories of the good old days when life was simple and we were not bound by any barriers of religion, caste or class. There are so many memories that came up while writing the book, all of them as special as the other, and choosing one special memory is simply not possible.
About The Author : Oswald has more than three decades of experience in top newspapers and magazines and in corporates. He has worked for leading Indian publications including The Free Press Journal, TheTimes of India, The Financial Express and Outlook. He has also been editor of niche publications on infrastructure and defenceOswald teaches journalism to post-graduate students and has taught at the Times of India-owned Times School of Journalism. He is Course Leader for BA International Journalism at the Asian School of Communication. He is also an English language trainer for individuals and corporates.
Hope this book strikes a chord with the readers !