Night falls in Delhi as a mother lies beside her sleeping daughter in a house filled with the rustle of strange creatures, spinning tales from her past. Her now grown-up child is a puzzle with a million pieces and she hopes, through her words and her love, to somehow fit them together once again.. .
Meanwhile, the last train from Rijiv Chowk Station pulls away and a young man with darkness in his heart rides the metro and dreams of murder. . .
In another corner of the city, a woman steps off an auto-rickshaw, carrying her newborn wrapped in a blood-red towel. She leaves her baby on the doorstep of an orphanage and walks away into a wind that slaps her in the face and fills her eyes with tears. . .
There are twenty million bodies in this city and these are only three. But their stories, of a secret love that blossoms in the shadows of grief, of a corrosive guilt that taints the soul, and of an orphaned boy in a land of orphaned girls who maps out his own destiny, weave into the lives of those around them to form a dazzling kaleidoscope of modern India in all its complexity...
Beautifully strange and audacious, this is the story of a city and its people, of love and horror, of belonging and forgiveness: a state of the nation novel for modern India.
About the Author
Raj Kamal Jha is Chief Editor of The Indian Express which has won the International Press Institute's India Award for Excellence in Journalism three times. His novels include The Blue Bedspread, winner of the 2000 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Eurasia) and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; If You Are Afraid of Heights, a finalist for the Hutch-Crossword Book Award in 2003; and Fireproof, rated first in CNN-IBN's list of best books published in India in 2006. His novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Raj works in New Delhi and lives in Gurgaon.
Don't let the lucid, lyrical grace of the prose fool you - this is a blistering, enthralling, bareknuckle ride of a novel. Its revelations about the "New India" are explosive Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others The best novel from and about India that I have read in a long time Pankaj Mishra Violence, tenderness, poverty, mobility: in short, a portrait of the New India Jeet Thayil