The Chaos Theory

3.7 based on 35 ratings & 5 reviews on Goodreads.com

Sunita and Mukesh are friends. He's cynical, from Calcutta, cocky and well-read. She's clever, curious and amused by him. It's the 1960s, Delhi University. Fashionable movies play at the art deco cinemas, Nehruvian poshness is stylish, The Beatles are the rage. They meet over a quotation game involving William Shakespeare and whisky. They both realise there's something special here. They have burning questions, as young people do, about things literary, philosophical, existential, romantic. The answers lie in an endless set of conversations with Sunita over Scotch, Mukesh imagines. Till she thinks America will be the answer, and leaves for a PhD in her search. He follows her. What happens, over the next forty years, is a journey - to carry on that conversation. Across continents, campuses, decades, marriages and life. To find what it is they really want to say. Chaos Theory, as loosely defined in particle physics, talks of two particles that circle around each other but never connect, which exactly descibes Mukesh and Sunita's situation. Their uncertainties translate into an immigrant's story of intellectual survival. In this exploration of missed connections between the abstract theories of modern physics with the equally abstract emotions of an aging pair of irreverent professors, comic and tragic mix together in a search for comfort which remains, at best, ephemeral and fragile.