By Deepti Kapoor
A hugely charged fiction debut a couple of younger girl in India, and the affection that either shatters and transforms her
She is twenty, stressed in New Delhi. Her mom has died; her father has left for Singapore.
He is some years older, simply again to India from New York.
When they meet in a café one afternoon, she—lonely, hungry for adventure, craving to damage freed from tradition—casts apart her fears and throws herself headlong right into a love affair, one who takes her the place she hasn't ever been before.
Told in a voice instantaneously gritty and lyrical, mournful and frank, a nasty personality marks the coming of an astonishingly talented new author. it's an unforgettable hymn to a deadly, exhilarating urban, and a portrait of wish and its outcomes as undying because it is common.
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Extra resources for A Bad Character: A Novel
He realized here he could be anyone. He suddenly talks about the light there. He says the light in the winter in New York is beautiful, it’s so thin. It’s nothing like the Indian light, which is heavy and dull, full of dust, involved with the gods. Their light has no gods, only Weegee, Trocchi and King Kong. He tells me about Chinatown too. Bubble tea, dumplings and pork buns, about the escalators to get into the restaurants, the revolving tables in the giant banquet halls. How easy life is there.
Think about what I said. It’s only when I’m free of him that I’m spinning out into space, racing back home as if I’m being chased in the fields, by the river with the barking dogs as the sun goes down, and my mother waiting for me inside. I left Agra for Delhi in the middle of the monsoon, when the air was cool and sweet and teeming with life. Aunty sat with me in the train, outside we etched past the rubble bungalows of my childhood, past their fields of clothes lines with sheets already soaked by the sudden rain, falling in great drops, stinging when it hit, the noise it made on the blue tarp and tin of the slums drowning everything else.
Avoiding coming to him, knowing that as soon as I do he will reach his end. And my mother, my father, my family—perhaps there’s no link to them at all. Now the Delhi streets are sulphur and dead, the streets are bridled by fear. We go into Vasant Vihar, to sit in the Chinese restaurant, to smoke and eat chicken and drink beer. Inside, the restaurant is red and gold; outside in the colony nothing stirs. The market is deserted except for the liquor store from which men scurry like rats with their twenty-rupee bottles of Doctor’s Choice, before vanishing into the darkness of doors.