A Bad Character: A Novel by Deepti Kapoor

By Deepti Kapoor

A hugely charged fiction debut a couple of younger lady 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 wreck 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 immediately gritty and lyrical, mournful and frank, a foul personality marks the coming of an astonishingly proficient new author. it's an unforgettable hymn to a perilous, exhilarating urban, and a portrait of hope and its outcomes as undying because it is common.

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Sample text

He stubs the cigarette out, drains his beer, puts the rest of his things away. Outside it’s dead quiet. The liquor store is shut, the market is as pleasant as a ruin. The heat is finally bearable too. We stand for a moment facing one another in the yellowing light and only now do I realize how drunk I am, but also how alert to him. I want to say something. I can’t think of what it is. Instead he asks if I’m OK to drive. I say I’ll be all right. He nods and tells me to follow his car as far as Jor Bagh.

For twenty years I’ve been waiting for this one thing. Idha. In the mirror. I give myself a name, I wear it out. Lunar, serpentine, desirous. A charm that protects me. ONE By the time I met him he was already gone. I didn’t know it then, but he was gone. Because he never once paced himself, because he was racing forward from the moment of birth and every bridge he crossed he turned round to destroy. Chaos mixed with joy, the joy of Shiva, biting his mother’s breast, madness in the blood. And I couldn’t have saved him; he wasn’t there to be saved.

Serious people, cautious, they never touched a drop of alcohol in their lives, didn’t smoke, never went on holidays, never spent money on themselves. That’s why they could afford to send him to New York, why he could stay so long there, spend so much money. They paid for his education, they paid for everything. But now they’re dead. He looks down and closes his eyes for a second, tries to smile. He suddenly seems filled with regret. I was the only child, he says. The prodigal son. I inherited it all, the money, the apartments, the ancestral land.

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