Saturday 3 February 2018

Review: Chekov and Zulu by Salman Rushdie

At the Auction of the Ruby SlippersThis story can be found online at

All I can say about this one is that it is a pseudo spy story which is constructed via a fantastic merger of western pop culture by using Chekov and Sulu two characters from the sci-fi series Star Trek as inspirational nicknames for two Indian residents in the UK during the time of the assassinations of Indira Gandhi and then Rajiv Gandhi. The story shows the friendship between old school friends now working within the Indian Secret Service The choice of names reflects how they see themselves "not the leaders....but the ultimate professional servants". But their friendships is put under strain following the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards following the Indian State's attack on the Sikh Golden Temple at Amritsar. They never meet again. One resigns, returns to Bombay to work in private security and lives out a good, prosperous life; the other continues to work in his diplomatic position in London unable, unwilling to take a stance on terrorism. Ultimately this becomes his downfall as he is caught up in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by Tamil Tigers some years later. "The tragedy is not how one dies. It is how one has lived"

I read this story as part of Salman Rushdie's short story collection East, West. My Book Review

ashramblings verdict 4* Very, very clever. Whether it is too clever may depend on your knowledge of both Star Trek and Indian history.

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