Interview: Neal Whittle - Author, "HOWZAAAAAT!" - Everything About the Game of Life can be Learned from the Game of Cricket


Click on Play to listen to Neal Whittle talk to Marian Chakraborty
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[Neal Whittle]Washington, DC, May 13, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Neal Whittle, author of Howzaaaaat!, chats with Marian Chakraborty on Washington Bangla Radio from Sydney, Australia. Born in Wimbledon, London, UK to anglo-Indian parents from Hyderabad, India, and living in Sydney from age 11, Whittle naturally has a remarkable insight into cross-cultural diversity at a personal level. A computer technologist by profession, Whittle finally gave in to his heart's call of trying his hand at writing when his mother passed away suddenly, and the result is Howzaaaaat! - a book that has received rave reviews and a response that is amazing to witness.

Howzaaaaat! is about a eleven-year old boy Ravi and his cricket-mad eccentric uncle Sanjay. Ravi was born in London, and moved to Sydney with his parents because his father was offered an unrefusable job in Australia.

Ravi is not entirely happy to have landed in Sydney - he has trouble in school with a racist bully, and finds a friend in his rather unconventional uncle, who works only one day, has a drinking problem, who has lost his wife but in his youth was a cricket player and an excellent batsman. Uncle Sanjay teaches Ravi how to play cricket, but he also teaches him how to play the game of life, because according to Sanjay, everything you need to know about the game of life you can learn from the game of cricket.

After Ravi and Uncle Sanjay become very close over the first year, the second half of the book takes on a different shade with Ravi contracting a peculiar disease that modern medicine seems at a loss to address, prompting Uncle Sanjay to take Ravi on a wild trip to India, a land where miracles are known to happen.

The little Ganesha statue on the cover of the book is of special significance, too, and the book has quite a few surprises and is uniquely inspirational in it's own way. Buy a digital or physical copy and read it.

Marian Chakraborty, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, has been studying Rabindrasangeet for 11 years primarily under Mrs. Rama Banerjee of Pittsburgh and also under Sri Rano Guhathakurta of Kolkata. She learned Bengali at the University of Washington, Seattle, under the late Dr. Carol Salomon, renowned translator of Lalon Giti. A clinical and forensic psychologist by profession, Marian has participated in numerous cultural programs with the Bengali Cultural Society of Cleveland and has also served on the board. Other passions include translation of Rabindrasangeet.