A Delhi Obsession  


A Delhi Obsession
September 10, 2019 | 288 pages
ISBN: 9780385692854

Two-time Giller Prize winner M.G. Vassanji returns with a powerful new novel about grief and second chances, tradition and rebellion, set in vibrant present-day Delhi. Munir Khan, a recent widower from Toronto, on a whim decides to visit Delhi, his ancestral city. Born in Kenya, he has lost all family connections, and has never visited India before. While sitting in the bar of the club where he's staying, an attractive woman takes a chair at his table to await her husband. A sparring match ensues. The two are from different worlds: Munir is a westernized agnostic of Muslim origin, ignorant about India; Mohini, a modern Hindu woman and daughter of "Partition" refugees whose family bears resentment towards Muslims. She's religiously traditional, but also a liberal and provocative newspaper columnist--and utterly witty and charming. Against her better judgment, Mohini agrees to show Munir around Delhi. As they explore the thriving markets and historical buildings of Delhi, an inexplicable attraction begins. What follows is a passionate love affair--uncontrollable yet impossible. This is a period of rising Hindu nationalism in modern India that at times manifests itself in vigilante violence. Constantly lurking at Munir's club is the menacing presence of a group of arch conservatives, self-styled protectors of Hindu women and cows. To them Munir Khan is simply a Muslim "love-jihadi" who has led the pride of Hindu womanhood, Mohini Singh, astray. Munir and Mohini must contend with the cost of their passion.