Sunday, May 22, 2022
Outlook.com
extract

The India Banquet

Exclusive extracts from the much awaited first novel, The Temple-Goers: The world of Delhi’s power dinner.

The India Banquet
Narendra Bisht
The India Banquet
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Aatish Taseer’s much-awaited first novel, The Temple-Goers, explores the tensions around religion and class in a rapidly changing India. In this exclusive extract, he evokes, with comic flair, the world of Delhi’s power dinner. Some guests seem familiar enough to set off a guessing game...

Delhi drawing rooms. They were what I remembered of the city from my childhood. Perhaps it was Delhi’s fragmented geography, or that it had no real restaurants the way Bombay had—restaurants that were not attached to five-star hotels—or just that it was an old city, closely bound, with people who all seemed to know each other, but there was no setting, no cityscape more evocative of the city I grew up in than a lamp-lit drawing room with a scattering of politicians, journalists, broken-down royals, and perhaps an old Etonian, lying fatly on a deep sofa. And it was a dinner like this, with two blue-and-red glass fanooses burning in a corner, jasmine floating in a porcelain dish on a dining table draped in a white tablecloth, with white-on-white chikan-work flowers embroidered on it, and the over-strong aroma of a scented candle, that my mother gave for the writer.

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