Gopal Baratham

A Candle or The Sun

“Early in my working life I had discovered that salesmanship consisted not of providing people with what they needed, but with that was essential to their dreams. I was confident that our dining-room suite, complete with carpets, curtains and an artificial fireplace, would shortly be snapped up by people occupying oven-hot semis in the newer and, as yet, treeless, housing estates on the island. The possibility of winter is essential to the happiness of people living in the tropics.”Hernie Perera runs the furniture department in Benson’s, the largest store in Singapore. In his spare time, he writes stories. Suddenly, his comfortable life is shattered. His father is found to have terminal cancer, he loses his job, and his lover joins the ‘Children of the Book’, a Christian sect committed to overthrowing an oppressive government.An old acquaintance and government official promises Hernie literary success in exchange for information on the ‘Children of the Book’. He must now decide between the rewards of political corruption and his conscience.With passion and humour, A Candle or the Sun reveals a Singapore far different from the tourist brochures.
262 printed pages
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  • Felix Mwandalahas quoted8 years ago
    Their heat made them sacrifice themselves for the nation’s sake. As he though these thoughts, a warmth began inside him. Slowly, steadily. Increasing bit by bit
  • Felix Mwandalahas quoted8 years ago
    The heat of revolution moved our leaders. Hot they were against colonialists, communists, communalists, chauvinists, conservationists. Yes, how hot they were. No housing estates then. Just slums. Slums, everywhere you turned. Slums. Dark huts. No electricity. No water. Children living like pigs. With pigs. No running water. Just filth.
  • Felix Mwandalahas quoted8 years ago
    “Routine surveillance, we term it. One never knows though what that kind of thing can unearth. Anyway it’s policy to know a little more about the people who work for us than they think we do.

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