This book came highly recommended from a lot of readers I know and while I was reading it, I got to know why. It has rarely happened with me that I am reading a book while I am walking in the metro stations for changing metros. Manil Suri’s The City of Devi is an engaging read from the word go. There is nothing exceptional in the book but it is just the way Manil Suri has written this 380 page book makes it what it is. The story is about three characters Sarita, Karun and Ijaz (Jaz) and the story has been told from Sarita’s and Jaz’s perspective.
Set up in Mumbai that is on the verge of a nuclear annihilation which is four days away. Sarita, a statistician, wants to buy the last pomegranate for her physicist husband Karun as she believes that it will improve the relationship between them. She haggles and haggles with the fruit seller and manages to buy the fruit at an obscene price. Post that, she sets out for a journey to find her husband Karun amidst the mayhem, who is in a different part of the city. Mumbai is crumbling because of bombings from Pakistan, riots have broken out, people are going insane killing each other, it has been divided into two parts based on the religion.
During her journey, she bumps into this man who is about to get killed by Hindu fanatics at the hospital just because he was a Muslim. Jaz, he is young, he is handsome and he calls himself “The Jazter”. Son of two scientists who are too busy in their world, Jaz explores the world all by himself and his own world revolves around having sex with as many men as possible. He teams up with Sarita and they both set out for the mission to find Karun. There is a lot more to the story other than this. The sudden appearance of Devi by the beach of the city and claiming the she will save people from all this madness. It adds a different dimension altogether to the plot.
What I loved about the book is its simple yet complex narrative. The language is again simple yet uncanny. The author has this ability to force the reader to feel the power of words. The descriptions of the situations will haunt you, you will empathise with Sarita, you will understand Karun’s predicament and also loathe Jaz for his antics at times. Suri’s wit and sarcasm always works and the book is darkly humorous at times. The way he has described Mumbai and the turmoil it is going through comes out live through his words. The situational twists and turns will keep a reader on his toes and he will keep turning pages till the end. I will soon be reading the other two books by Manil Suri and for those who haven’t read any of his works, you must give his books a chance. I am sure he will definitely impressive you.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Bloomsbury India
Genre : Fiction
Price : Rs. 499/-