Very, very late to the party, because I heard about the defenestrated pom in the opening scene way back in college, but it took the Netflix series to make me finally read this sprawling book, and I quite enjoyed it. And now I'm side-eyeing several of Varun Grover and co's choices to amp up the misogynoir in the show. Ah, well, when in doubt, blame it on Anurag Kashyap.
Jokes apart, this is a great book. Reading it over 12 years after it was first published, it seems almost prescient in charting the tentacular, cancerous growth of Hindutva when the rest of the world was looking elsewhere, so to speak. It is Dickensian, both in scale and coincidence, but it is also a very, very gripping story, told quite well. Reading around the debate about authenticity and the Indian novel in English reminded me of being back in the University, and Chandra's now famous Boston Review essay reads like a few very pertinent points cloaked in a lot of defensive word vomit. (As @saum__
would say, Marx is not your Bhai. Neither is Borges your Bhai. Tejpal, though, probably *was* your Bhai. Sigh). Rajeshwari Sundar Rajan has a nicely pithy, acerbic takedown in the Hindu, which of course, far fewer of Chandra's international audience would've read. Ah, the irony.
It would be interesting to watch all of Sacred Games against Kaala (which I also watched recently), and compare the Bombay slum and the anti-heroes it gave birth to (and the shining purity of saffron preachers those slums are juxtaposed against in both). Just a thought. Someone go write that essay and give me credits for the idea.
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