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At 03:02 on a Sunday morning, the world as we knew it came to an end. Mumbai suddenly went black — no electricity, no phones, no internet and no working cars. It was as if someone had turned off the master switch of our civilization, turning us back hundreds of years overnight. We learned that it was not just Mumbai, but much of the world that had been impacted. We also learned that it was no accident. A deadly enemy was behind it. An enemy that was now in our midst, seeking to conquer us and destroy our way of life. This is how our war for freedom began. A war that was to be waged not on the borders or by the Army, but in our homes and streets, with us as the soldiers. This is our story. ‘
The ten stories in this collection explore the unspoken dimensions of human experience, moving fluidly across the real, the seemingly unreal and the magical. Mostly located in Delhi, they give expression to the silent insecurities and aspirations of its myriad characters living in an ever-changing, multi-layered society.
The range of stories captures the differing frailties, moods and impulses of human behaviour: A woman pursues a strange association with handbags, a passenger in a train encounters a forgettable past, the protagonist on his way to purchase fish has a bizarre experience in an unusual habitat, a worker in a housing complex finds himself accused of a gratuitous offence, an accidental voyeur has an unexpected encounter with a street sweeper, a construction labourer transmits his interest in car-spotting to his four-year-old son, a slap leads an adolescent to a coming-of-age experience in the hills, an office worker plays with a paper-weight on his desk while he keeps waiting for something to happen, the trajectory of the relationship of a couple closely parallels that of sparrows building a nest, the story of a lonely, elderly woman and a younger family friend takes an unanticipated turn.
Written with sensitivity and deep insight, these stories are sure to enthral the reader.
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