Nakul and Tushar, 2 boys in their early teens, die when a bomb explodes in the busy Lajpat Nagar Market. Their Muslim friend Mansoor escapes with an injured hand. From this point, the book moves in all directions, tracing the lives of all that had been directly or indirectly touched by this event. This involves the boy's parents Vikas and Deepa, veteran Kashmiri bomb maker Shaukat Guru, Mansoor's liberal parents Sharif and Afsheen, the brilliant Ayub who believes is Gandhi Ji's credo of non-violence, the Indian justice system, the Hindutva Vs Liberals, literally everything. It forces you to think how an explosion of a bomb is far more than just the lives that had been destroyed in its immediate aftermath. It keep's destroying far more in its path. This book works on one hand in the inner world of the directly affected and on the other hand the outer world that surrounds the core of this explosion. It lays bare a lot of myths. That a terrorist is not always driven by high ideals to commit such a crime: it could be something as trivial as a spurning of love by a girl. Nor are terrorists as fanatical as is depicted in popular media. To avoid a police third-degree they are not averse to pin the blame on their own compatriot. It also manages to hold a mirror to the face of the liberals and forces to confront the depth of the bias against the "other".
Outstanding. Brilliantly written, and full of humaneness and makes a difficult and real subject come close to the readers heart. Not only readable, but also wonderful prose and the writing though serious is also humorous. A book that will make you think and enrich you. Highly recommended
It is the association of huge tragedies. The narration of bombs, their aftermath and beyond is impossible to resist. Karan Mahajan is brilliant and simply unputdownable. This books shows his maturity as a fiction writer (considering this is his second book) and a serious author to watch out for. Way to go!