Australian Chris Mooney-Singh is comfortable in North India, where The Bearded Chameleon is set. This is a colourful life canvas seen through the rare insight of a foreigner who has absorbed the cultural nuances of India over two decades - urban and pastoral, personal and societal. These are not 'travel poems.' Rooted within Punjabi Indian villages and the excitement of big cities like Delhi and Mumbai they reveal a poet sensitive to the sometimes sadly ludicrous nature of the sub-continent's human stories. A convert to Sikhism who has worn a beard and turban since 1989, Mooney-Singh has an ear finely-tuned for Indian speech.
The first part of The Bearded Chameleon opens with personal lyric poems depicting the poet's love for and the death of his Australian wife. "...why have I been detained among / the iron gods? / I drink milk and sorrow / from tumblers of steel..." Part two depicts intimate family portraits, business people, sketches of the rich and the poor and interior monologues of characters such as the tragic Mrs Pritima Devi. [From the publisher]