If rats can be a delicacy in Hong Kong, why not in Bihar? Thanks to Amitava Kumar’s book, one has discovered an ally who gets at the heart of dalit liberation: popularize rat meat, encourage rat farming, there is no reason why others can’t benefit from protein-rich rat meat. Vijoy Prakash, in the book, makes more sense than a truckload of ‘immigrant’ dalit activists. “The dish was served with rice and tasted delicious (P17)”.
For readers who have lived in Patna, A Matter of Rats is like experiencing six degrees of separation, the narrative spins around familiar names and faces, like a series of Facebook status updates, at once intimate and irreverent, each with immense sharing potential: the boy Laloo writing on a slate with a piece of brick; an irate Shiva Naipaul trudging through mud near Pipra village; a chappal bouncing down the escalator at the P&M Mall.