Title: Touching the feet
Authors: Nikolay Yankov and Elena Shtereva
Published: 2014
Pages: 172
Genres: Fiction Stories | Contemporary Bulgarian Literature

Nine stories from India. Nine colours and nine different emotions. Fear, courage, love, compassion, resentment, anger, amazement, joy, peace. No wonder why the terms for colour and emotion in Hindi and Sanskrit have one and the same root. Emotions are the colours which make our soul beautiful. And just like any dye these are not permanent, they are a bit sticky and cover our true nature. What does the face look like during the festival of Holi? It is unrecognizable. It is well-covered with paints and this makes its real features indistinguishable. Exactly in the same way, getting to know India, as well as the happiness coming out if this process, are related with our ability to perceive all of her colours at the same time, to see her bathed in paints and tints, till we eventually find her in the colour that has no colour.

With this book we express our gratitude and reverence to the country we love by touching her feet.

Adelina Genova, blogger

A book which proves that sometimes a country can be best seen and described through the eyes of the foreigner.

Violeta Stanichich, journalist

A book with contemporary Indian stories, which seems to have been written by Indian authors. Upon my returning from the subcontinent, the depth and understanding of this fantastic new old world astonished me.

Temz Arabajieva, blogger

Colour by colour line up Love, Sorrow, Joy, Justice and lack of Justice. “Touching the feet” is not a story only about India. This collection tells us about the people of India – breathing, laughing, many-faced, raving like an ocean. It is an original passage between and the old and new world, between cultures with common roots that time has divided.

Nevena Dishlieva-Krasteva, publisher and translator

Even when they are totally immersed in the present, they see something more, reach other worlds. Just like the little Kishor slightly opens the violet curtain to see the naked bodies of his uncle and the neighbour Kanti, in the same way the curtain is raised in front of the reader, and behind it he finds a different world. And I believe, this is valid not only for those who don’t know India at all.

Hristo Blajev, publisher and blogger

I admit that both authors surprised me with their skillful way of writing – at times I found myself holding my breath and devouring the pages. And I wouldn’t be surprised if on the backcover I saw the name of Rana Dasgupta instead of their names.

Ivanka Mogilska, writer

The nine stories from the book “Touching the feet” seem to me like nine instant clicks of India, made with different colour filter. They put the reader in an exceptional atmosphere, make me want to look closer, to discover the details so that I learn something new or keep on fancying how the stories continue.

Ameliya Litcheva, critic

It is delightful news that in a decade in which prose by Indian authors, who write about India from a foreign perspective is so popular, such stories come out in Bulgarian literature and reverse the prism by giving their own view on “how things happen in India”.

Hristo Karastoyanov, writer

“Touching the feet” throws light on crucial aspects of the contemporary Indian man and woman’s psychology.


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