Taseer dumps his readers headlong into the exotic, teeming morass that is Delhi, India, where every aspect of modern life is constrained and permeated by the ancient and rigid caste system. “Aatish”, a wealthy, naïve novelist, gets involved in the seamy, low-caste world of “Aakash”, a good-looking but malevolent gym trainer. Their supposed friendship ends with a murder which represents the dark, violent core of India and Indian society’s condemnation of those who get ideas above their station:
“In Delhi, where these aspects of status had been encoded in people’s looks, …this flowering of physical beauty, and the licence that came with it, felt like avenues had been driven through the city’s closed quarters.”
British-born journalist Taseer subsequently wrote Noon (2011), and The Way Things Were (2014).