Jet City Woman


[Amidst the haze of an aimless college life, a young student from Shillong meets the mercurial Naina at a party near Delhi University campus. His spontaneous act of chivalry against Naina’s violent ex-lover sparks off intimacy between him and this enigmatic girl-about-town. But a hot, fleeting affair with her leaves him sceptical about love and its elusive promises. Yet, Naina’s hidden past becomes a phantom that refuses to blur out of his memory, long after she’s gone. A chance encounter with her and her Afghan cocaine-dealer friend two years later brings Naina back into his life with all her mystery and caprice intact. Tracing the circuit of desire, drugs, violence, and greed that exists at the fringes of Delhi, Jet City Woman casts light on lives that have so far been peripheral to the grand narrative of this city—students from northeast India, Tibetan and Afghan refugees, Anglo-Indians. The dotcom boom and its eventual bust are juxtaposed with the pipe dream the BPO industry is peddling in India. Spanning five years, and alternating between northeast India and New Delhi, this is a story of love and loss, of lives adrift in a mega city, and of the lesser-known side of urban India. Diffused with subtle humour and sharp insights, it is a tale set in an ancient city where chimaeras are chased and lives are invented anew.]

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Amitabha Bagchi’s review on dated 15 January 2008