Chaddi Buddies is a heart-stopping, tender story of love, friendship and brotherhood,” says The Speaking Tree, a Times of India publication. Readers have compared the novel to R K Narayan’s Malgudi Days. In these days of fast-track thrillers and sleazy romances, Chaddi Buddies is a delightful must read, adds The Speaking Tree review.
“At a time when all forms of cross-caste and class, cross-ethnic and inter-religious alliances are looked upon with deep political and social suspicion, Oswald Pereira’s tale of youthful friendship and idealism, Chaddi Buddies, takes us back to a time when innocence was still possible,” The Sunday Standard says in a review.
“The novel reminds one of a time when childhood was about freedom and best friends, about innocent rebellions against those conventions that make us so terribly lonely as adults,” adds the review.
The Daily Bhaskar describes the book as a trip down the childhood memory lane. Mr Pereira through this book wishes to spread the message that childhood is invaluable and every child is special, the newspaper says.
Chaddi Buddies is loosely based on the author’s childhood. It is a story of the friendship between the protagonist Robert Pereira and his friends, Anand, Baloo and their elder brother Dattya, whom Robert idolises as his hero. The three of them are sons of a domestic help.
Robert’s haven is Hill Mansion, the residence of the three brothers, who live there with their parents and sister. Hill Mansion is not a mansion but a ramshackle hut on a small hill. Robert had christened the hut Hill Mansion out of the love for the brothers, his buddies.
Robert loved Hill Mansion more than his own modern house, because the poor but strong residents of Hill Mansion had given him the courage to live and fight, bestowing on him the pet name Samson. On the other hand, his siblings and village bullies made fun of his clumsiness and weakness, and nicknamed him Pondya – an indolent, feeble fellow.
Will Robert be able to fight the village bullies and erase the shameful Pondya tag to his name? Will his love for his buddies stand the test of time and social barriers as he grows up?