The Song of Kahunsha by Anosh Irani

The Song of Kahunsha

byAnosh Irani

Kobo ebook | May 29, 2009

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From one of Canada’s brightest new literary stars – a startling and beautiful novel about abandonment, poverty, and violence, as well as loyalty, love, and hope, as seen through the eyes of a young homeless boy.

It is 1993 and Bombay is on the verge of being torn apart by racial violence. Ten-year-old Chamdi has rarely ventured outside his orphanage, and entertains an idyllic fantasy of what the city is like beyond its garden walls – a paradise he calls Kahunsha, “the city of no sadness.” But when he runs away to search for his long-lost father, he finds himself thrust into the chaos of the streets, alone, possessing only the blood-stained cloth he was left in as a baby. There Chamdi meets Sumdi and Guddi, brother and sister who beg in order to provide for their sick mother, and the three become fast friends.

Fueled only by a desire to find his father and the dream that Bombay will someday become Kahunsha, Chamdi struggles for survival on its brutal streets. But when he is caught up in the beginnings of the savage violence that will soon engulf the city, his dreams confront reality.

Moving, poignant, and wonderfully rich in the sights and sounds of Bombay, The Song of Kahunsha is a compelling story of hopes and dreams, and of the fragility of childhood innocence.

From the Hardcover edition.
Title:The Song of KahunshaFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 29, 2009Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307373371

ISBN - 13:9780307373373

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Customer Reviews of The Song of Kahunsha


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Heart breaking Irani paints a very real picture of an experience no child should have to endure. It is sad and less hopeful as the story develops. Be aware of your mood before you crack the spine of this novel.
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical, devastating, but mostly inspirational Chamdi’s name means “a boy of thick skin,” as appropriately given to him by Mrs. Sadiq, his caretaker at the orphanage where he has spent his short life sheltered from the evils that lurk behind the towering and concrete walls, in the streets of Bombay. His upbringing has been humble, with the same meals of rice and vegetables provided three times a day, a cot with a white sheet to sleep on, and a basic education affording him the knowledge to read and write. You can’t help but feel sad for Chamdi and his situation, until the closing of the orphanage sends him to the streets of Bombay where we quickly learn things can be much worse than he had ever experienced. Chamdi’s road becomes increasingly harder, as he struggles to stay alive with no food in his tummy, money in his hand or a roof over his head. His saving grace and the true inspiration of this story is Chamdi’s ability to dream in colours. No matter how dark, dismal and desolate his circumstances appear to be, Chamdi need only close his eyes and dream of Kahunsha, his make believe recreation of Bombay, where there is no sadness, criminals, or starvation. This is a truly inspirational story that will not only make you thankful for all that you have, but hopeful for all that you have the power to imagine.
Date published: 2010-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Poignant This is a story about Chamdi, a 10 yr old boy who runs away from the orphanage to the streets of Bombay in the hopes of one day finding his father. Before escaping, Chamdi, who has no idea what the world looks like beyond the orphanage walls, imagines Bombay to be a place where "children play cricket in the street with a red rubber ball and even if the batsman hits the ball hard, sends it crashing into a windowpane and the glass breaks, no one gets angry. The glass mends itself in a few seconds, and the game resumes." He calls this city "Kahunsha", the city of no sadness. What Chamdi discovers instead are chaos, thievery, prostitution, poverty and violence... all of which you will find painted so vividly in each page. Very heartwarming and poignant. It's The Fine Balance, Oliver Twist and The Kite Runner rolled into one.
Date published: 2009-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from eye opening! this novel seemed boaring to me at first but once i got in to it i could not put it down. it really opened my eyes to what life was like in bombey during the time of turmoil in the 90's. it was fasinating to see what life is / was like for children living on the streets. it was an extrordinary novel!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty Good It wasn't the best of books. But it definitely wasn't the worst. It's an easy read, and you find yourself reading quite quickly. Personally, I didn't like the ending, and also the book was a bit slow. There wasn't a high point. On the other hand, it was frightening at times, and throughtout the entire story I wanted to help him out. I loved the fact that he still believed in a world of peace and beauty even after all that he saw and all he went through.
Date published: 2007-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Page Turner This book captured me from the first page. The author keeps your interest throughout the book. A great deal of attention was paid to describing the characters and the setting,you can definitely picture yourself watching everything happen.
Date published: 2007-01-15