Ajay is one of those rare narrators: a person who can see himself without inflation, pathos, or self consciousness. He has come to America from India and finds himself to be the in the unenviable position of the lesser second child. Then his brother Biriju has a catastrophic injury leaving him severely brain damaged. His family must struggle with hope and despair while channeling most of their energies to complex nursing support.
Ajay is a child when the tragedy occurs. In wry twists he admits his occasional resentment of the tragedy. Other times he reveals an unsavory hunger to be the celebrity brother of fate. Yet overall he cares deeply for his family. Sometimes he speaks with a God dressed in contemporary clothing. He finds no answers there, "Even if I told you something, I might change my mind." Cast adrift, Ajay discovers that a life devoted writing is possible, and the world changes for him.
Ajay takes the reader with him, and the reader cannot but help feeling great affection for this young boy. His speech is darkly humorous at times. He can be selfish and he can be be grandiose. But all of his thoughts carry the authenticity of a person being strictly honest with himself. The author achieves this without stooping to preciousness or drama. Somehow even in the everyday, the story holds us enmeshed with the reality of life after a fatal three minutes changes everything.