They say the child is the father of the man. They also say that you can take a person out of certain circumstances but not the experience of those circumstances out of the person. To what extent can one shake off formative influences? How destructive is the internal conflict between core inherited values and new adopted values? How much of oneself does one have to leave behind, or lose, or destroy, while trying to clamber up the slippery ladder of wealth and success? And is the answer to cling on, or let go?
Pankaj Mishra is the author of several books, including Run and Hide: A Novel.