Hardcover Î A Bad Character MOBI Ý A Bad Epub /

A Bad Character A highly charged fiction debut about a young woman in India and the love that both shatters and transforms her She is twenty restless in New Delhi Her mother has died; her father has left for Singapore He is a few years older just back to India from New YorkWhen they meet in a café one afternoon she—lonely hungry for experience yearning to break free of tradition—casts aside her fears and throws herself headlong into a love affair one that takes her where she has never been before Told in a voice at once gritty and lyrical mournful and frank A Bad Character marks the arrival of an astonishingly gifted new writer It is an unforgettable hymn to a dangerous exhilarating city and a portrait of desire and its conseuences as timeless as it is universal Lots of this book is gorgeous What a lovely conceit to show our heroine round Delhi with the reader in tow What sensuous writing I thought I might get fed up of all the adjectives and evokings but I didn't And Delhi is now a lot real to me than after any of the other Delhi books I have readAs the book drifted on I did start to wonder where the author was going to go with it And I wasn't at all as pleasured by the drug stuff or by the inconclusive ending as by the initial parts And across the room he is staring at meI've been stared at a lot of course; it's what happens here it's what men do Every day from door to door on the buses stepping through rubble on the edge of the road in the car stuck in traffic at red lights Stares of incomprehension lust rage sad yearning so vacant and blank sometimes it's terrifying sometimes pitiful Eyes filling the potholes bouncing down the street like marbles no escaping their clank Eyes in restaurants in offices in college eyes at home Women's too disapprovinglyBut in his eyes there's the promise of something elsethis is a very brief sparely written novel that nonetheless packs a pretty powerful punch part of it is very familiar a twenty year old girl's sexual awakening that becomes all consuming a little dangerous ends badly and sets her on a self destructive path of personal freedom studded with casual sex and drug usethe hook is that this takes place in new delhi in the early 2000's where to be a woman is to be sheltered prepared and preserved for marriage and where violence against women is a freuent occurrence Under the cover of celebration a fistful of colour can smash against bone Swarm upon a girl in an alleywayI'm remembering Holi in Delhi now In the first year a stubborn refusal to go outside as the men drink bhang and whip each other into a frenzy The way trouble can start real fast Semen dyed a dozen ways All under the cover of colour In the marketplace hunting for prey the spurned lover the jilted heart All under the cover of funand a woman on her own is subjected to scrutiny and speculation But parking does attract attention It has its own problems What is she doing there? What does she want? Is she a whore? Is she waiting for a man? At traffic lights in the middle of a jam Stuck behind cages of chicken stacked in the backs of tempos waiting to be killed They do notice me these eyes discovering I'm all alone in this city of meat and menand where a little girl is given good advice about self protection but in a way that villainizes sexuality She liked to bathe me in the old days took great care with it and one day she sat me down on the cold metal stool opened my legs and pointed between them then said If a man ever tries to touch you there an uncle or a servant or a cousin anyone at all you fight him off and you scream You run You don't let anybody touch you down there That is the worst place in the worldthis is not a climate where sexual experimentation is permitted or even wise and yet idha named only once and may or may not be her given name has a restless spirit and is unsatisfied with her prospects as a woman But the history of women is the history of migration Men hold the line and they remain They go to war they go for work they travel over the land but they remain Their name remains their land remains their pride and honour remain You can trace their line back into the dark you can lean against their foundations and take shelter within How to trace the line of women to take shelter there? How to find from where we came? Every generation stripped away Passed to another household Gone the line gone the name It never belonged to us anyway The earth does not belong to us anyway We vanish we do not remainshe has grown into a loner her mother is dead her father absconded to singapore and she lives with her aunty who is doing her best to keep her in a protective bubble until she can be married off to one of the suitors she has arranged but idha has other plans Twenty and untouched It's a sin For twenty years I've been waiting for this one thingshe meets an unnamed man in a cafe slightly older dark and ugly who is nonetheless compelling charismatic she is drawn to him because of his feral ugliness his experiences in the world the power of his attractive instability her discontent crashes against his lust for her beauty and the two begin a passionate affair where she surrenders herself to him willingly allows herself to be as he sees her a lump of wet clay but is only really playacting at being submissive she remains clear eyed throughout their relationship despite how it appears from the outside He talks it to me he fucks me slowly with his words takes his pain out on me from the city he's consumed merging limbs and lips doing it to me again and again I beg him He wraps his hands around my throat and sinks inside He wants to be with me everywhere wants to follow me through the streets I'd walk for him and he'd obliterate me take everything but my eyes I'd cover myself in devotion and know that I was ownedin the end she is the one who has the last word the narrative is told ten years after the affair jumping around in time and tense from first to third person long after he has died it's the first sentence so is in no way a spoiler people and through all the debasement that follows her through her life there is a sort of heroism to her path a joyful embracing of shiva in his aspect of destroyer hers is a willing surrender to experience and not something that has been arranged for her i have a crappy track record with these kinds of sexual initiation books the gleeful sexual abandonment arcs never really resonate with me because i have never felt constrained and reading about the act of intercourse is pretty boring but this story her situation seems to be staying with me than i expected and while there are parts that are kind of draggy the parts that are really strong make up for it particularly in her descriptions of the city Now Dirty Delhi Ice cream in metal carts Grapefruit watermelon cut open surrounded by flies packed in ice packed full of amoebic dysentery held in the hands of boys with stunted nails at bus stops holding them up to the window for a grubby note of exchange Chunks of melting ice and the rind of fruit eaten by cows dogs rats monkeys rats the size of dogs Exhaust fumes from the buses and the autos and the cars From Indrapastha Power Station Battered nimbu pani carts books on sale at the stop lights Mein Kampf Harry Potter Who Moved My Cheese? Hijras with stubble flashing their comely eyes on the Ring Road near Raj Ghat crows above the latticed balconies of Daryaganj where they sell books on the pavements on Sundays and battered magazines where they make juice in bright displays Delhi yes Black bilgewater from every orificeso yeah it's a tiny little book that is occasionally unfocused but for all that and despite it not being my usual kind of thing i'm finding myself thinking about it favorably in retrospect than i was while reading it we call this gerry syndrome so i would definitely recommend it to people interested in strong character voices female sexuality and world literature it's a 35 star that is still rising in my estimation the i think about it a creeper 4 if you willcome to my blog Vibrant dark and passionate Deepti Kapoor's short debut novel which feels like a memoir is a meditation on the life of a young educated woman in modern India and a raw account of a forbidden and ultimately destructive relationship The narrator is apparently named Idha but this is only referenced once on the first page and there is some ambiguity as to whether it is even her real name 'I give myself a name I wear it out A charm that protects me' Idha means 'insight' maybe the name is a deliberate choice on the part of the narrator Idha's lover too is never named adding to the sense that this is a semi autobiographical story The setting is Delhi in the early twenty first century and the lover though nameless gives the book its title he was a man who the narrator tells us at the very beginning died when she was twenty one and was described in a police soundbite as 'known to us he was a bad character' The narrator tells her story from a 'present' perspective which appears to be about ten years since the central events the book describes The main action takes place when Idha is twenty years old a student at college and lives with her aunt who constantly pushes her into meetings with bland potential husbands She has a certain amount of freedom she is getting a good education is from a middle class family has her own car and often wanders or drives the city alone Still she feels constantly aware of the limits of her life of being a woman and bored by what is expected of her although she doesn't seem to know what it is she wants instead until she meets her lover When she encounters this charismatic but ugly man in a café it is his very ugliness that attracts and excites her The two of them begin the sort of affair that feels doomed from the start volatile and all consuming In this second life always kept secret from Idha's family he drags her into the underbelly of the city replete with sex crime illegal raves drugs There is some violence and emotional manipulation on his part but unusually it rarely seems that Idha is not in control and you sense that he is just as confused and frustrated as she is The narrative style isn't entirely conventional Kapoor switches between present and past tense between first and third person and at many points there is a sudden jump from one point in the narrator's past to another As names are rarely used it's not always clear which 'him' she's talking about or whether 'she' refers to another woman or to herself As a result there are passages that reuire than one reading to be properly understood and absorbed and although this is a short and fast moving book it is sometimes a tough read in ways than one Although Idha's lover obsesses her her life worsens rather than improves after he disappears and the story becomes ever bleak This is the sort of novel I would have liked to see on the Booker longlist It's certainly 'readable' but it is also emotionally complex and very specific to its setting By which I don't just mean Delhi although Kapoor's beautifulbrutal portrayal of the city is one of the highlights of her narrative but the particular situation of being a young unmarried middle class college educated Hindu woman in India in the 2000s It's like living a little slice of another person's life another thing that makes it feel very memoir esue A Bad Character burns out uickly but it burns bright and as a result it is very memorable Just like the affair itself in fact He was known to us he was a bad characterIt's a phrase they use sometimes what some people still say It's what they'll say about me too when they know what I've doneThis was not at all what I expected You can describe this novel as a girl's sexual awakening in modern India but a one sentence description does it a disservice I'm still not exactly sure what I read It's a character study told in occasionally beautiful and occasionally maddening prose about the narrator's experience of falling in love with both the Bad Character of the title and you can argue with Delhi The world that the narrator inhabits is socially dangerous somewhere between living with her lover and living with her guardian who believes she's taking French lessons when she's actually shacking up It's dangerous in many ways There's the sex of course risky to her future marriage prospects But she also begins to break out in other ways driving alone staring back at men in the street And then once she is estranged from her lover as she'll tell you herself on the first page she moves into drugs and the underworld of the city It's a narrative that moves fluidly from present to past that captures transcendence in relationships and in experiences But it's also frustrating to read and can sometimes be too slow and the ending was exasperating It's such a strange novel that I have no idea who I would recommend it to or if any of my friends would like it but I would definitely read something else by Deepti Kapoor especially something set in her Delhi which is so beautifully depicted here The hardcover edition of this book has my favorite covertitle combination ever You can't see how gorgeous it is on Goodreads but it sparkles And lying on my back just like the girl I've always been I watch the clouds drift and glow across the roof of the world becoming newspaper headlines that tell the story of my life the last one saying Fuck you I survive

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