Recently I had the chance of Kushwant Singh’s novel, ‘Delhi.’ It was an interesting read. It looks like autobiographical but I don’t think Singh did those horrible things mentioned in the novel in real. Right from the first page Singh starts his trademark humor. I wouldn’t have continued the novel if not for his humor because the novel is revolved around an unpleasant character called Bhagmati. She is a hijra (eunuch.) For a strange reason, Singh is sexually attracted to her than any other sex partners he meets in the novel. He sleeps with college girls to army wives to visiting dignitaries in the book and boasts of those encounters. I don’t know why Singh put that much of sex to the book. I don’t think anyone would buy the book because of sex. If one needs erotic reading there are other ways to get it easily these days.
In one chapter Singh says, “Someone else’s wives are more fuckable than one’s own.” I am surprised with the liberty he enjoys in his writing. He takes a full chapter to explain various types of farts 🙂 in the novel.
The author takes us a journey through the history and the present of Delhi back and forth. He takes us back to the times centuries ago and incidents like Muslim kings’ plundering of Delhi and Indira Gandhi’s assassination and subsequent killings of Sikhs are portrayed. The way Singh looks at Mahathma Gandhi’s fasts is very sarcastic.