Don't Let Him Know
In a boxy apartment building in an American university town, Romola Mitra, a newly arrived young bride, anxiously awaits her first letter from home in India. When she accidentally opens the wrong letter, it changes her life. Decades later, her son Amit finds that letter and thinks he has discovered his mother's secret. But secrets have their own secrets sometimes, and a way of following their keepers. Amit does not know that Avinash, his dependable and devoted father, lurks on gay Internet groups at times, unable to set aside his lifelong attraction to men. Avinash has no idea that his dutiful wife had once romanced a dashing Bengali filmstar, whose memory she keeps tucked away in a diary amongst her silk saris. Growing up in Calcutta, in a house bustling with feisty grandmothers, Amit has been shielded from his parents' secrets. A successful computer engineer, he settles in San Francisco, torn between his new life and his duties towards the one he has left behind. Moving from adolescent rooftop games to adult encounters in gay bars, from hair salons in Calcutta to McDonald's drive-thrus in California, Don't Let Him Know is an unforgettable story about family, the struggle between having what we want and doing what we feel we must - and the sacrifices we make for those we love. Tender, powerful, and beautifully told, Don't Let Him Know marks the arrival of a brave new voice.
A tender, powerful, and beautifully told story of displacement, Don't Let Him Know marks the arrival of a brave new voice in Indian literature
Sandip Roy is Senior Editor at the popular news portal Firstpost.com, blogs for the Huffington Post and is an Associate Editor with New America Media. He has been a long-time commentator on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, one of the most listened-to radio programmes in the US, and has a weekly radio postcard for public radio on KALW 91.7 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has contributed to various anthologies including New California Writing 2011, Story-wallah!, Contours of the Heart, Out! Stories from the New Queer India, Because I Have a Voice: Queer Politics in India and The Phobic and the Erotic: The Politics of Sexualities in Contemporary India. He currently lives in Kolkata. @sandipr