What a waste of a brilliant title.
When I commandeered it unceremoniously from my brother's bookshelf, it was in the irrational hope of either a rollicking read with the unapologetic exuberance of Sacred Games or a multilayered, multicoloured production like Midnight's Children. Or maybe even a tale of deep, chronic decay in the style of Rohinton Mistry or Sarathchandra Chattopadyaya. Or something else entirely, a new and wonderful type of book.
Even the ominous blurb – "Twenty-three year old Rajiv Kothari is lost in a nation he has always called home and beckoned by the one his father left long ago" – could not dim the promise in the title.
Well, you already guessed it. All it is, is yet another tourism brochure. I've only read half and maybe it'll turn into a technicolor dreamcoat in the second half. But I think I'm too depressed to slog it out to the end.
If Sameer Parekh's grammar wasn't just a little bit questionable, he might even have won the Booker. And, as it stands today, I can't think of a worse indictment (though I have to admit I wouldn't exactly kick it out of bed if it was ever offered to me...).
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