A Bad Character (Free) ☆ Deepti Kapoor – eBook & Kindle

FREE READ A Bad Character

Ew 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 Breathlessly narrated memoir posing as fiction Has superb impressionistic prose with some of the best descriptions of Delhi I ve read and I m counting City of Djinns and Capital here Female sexual awakening the perils of living in Delhi are the central themes of A Bad Character how a 20 year old college girl discovers life beyond classes and staid middle class existence aided by an ugly dark animal like man who looks like a servant if not for his New York accent whom she picks up at a cafe in Khan Market because it turns her on him being ugly and her being beautiful He takes her to places in the city she would have never known woos her vigorously and with considerable charm before both of them latch on to the customary fate of rich entitled Delhi boys who don t need to work a day in their lives the high road of alcohol drugs sex and ennui Yes the risue Indian novel is finally here I suspect the author wrote this book as therapy in a sort of mad hurry to expel the memories of descending down the self destructive spiral of substance abuse and casual sex out of her system There s an honesty to it that seems autobiographical and this cursory hypothesis is backed by an article by her on HuffPost about how Ashtanga Yoga helped her stop being a party girl However A Bad Character is ultimately let down by its unimaginative plot though narrated imaginatively with a jagged narrative structure that alternates between first person and third person it s a brave book that narrates an all too familiar tale with a style that s all her own a slim book that you ll probably finish in a sitting like doing a uick line of coke in the hotel bathroom

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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 N 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

Deepti Kapoor á 0 CHARACTERS

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 univers I wouldn t have heard about this author or thought of reading this book if I hadn t attended the Jaipur litfest and heard her speak about it during a couple of events To me the novel was related to writing the city in particular Delhi than about a love story The relationship between the two characters didn t come across as love but as some kind of sick escapist obsession between a twenty year old dying to escape her life and a twenty eight year old who doesn t know what to do with himself and who in my opinion has self destructive notions bordering on nihilism The description of Delhi is so black and bleak even when it tries to uplift itself that the relationship between the characters falls into the descriptive black hole that the city is portrayed as What I did like about it is that it doesn t rely too heavily on the cliches that seem to categorise Indian writing in the last few years Having lived in Delhi for a year I could related to some of the descriptions It s a short novel and the language isn t heavy or emotionally demanding so it was easy enough to read in a couple of days As a first novel its a great attempt and I would easily pick up the author s next book out of curiosity


10 thoughts on “A Bad Character

  1. says:

    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 ca

  2. says:

    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

  3. says:

    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 exa

  4. says:

    Breathlessly narrated memoir posing as fiction Has superb impressionistic prose with some of the best descriptions of Delhi I've read and I'm counting City of Djinns and Capital here Female sexual awakening the perils of living in Delhi are the central themes of A Bad Character; how a 20 year old college girl discovers life beyond classes a

  5. says:

    This debut novel by Deepti Kapoor reflects on Indian culture and its paradoxical stance with regard to womanhood The protagonist a respectable unmarried young lady gets secretly involved with an older man The boo

  6. says:

    Deepti Kapoor’s A Bad Character is about a tumultuous period in one college going female student’s life in New Delhi K

  7. says:

    It started off wonderfully much to my surprise I'm not much of a fan when it comes to coming of age in a haze of drugs and sex Ill advised and sure to end badly For a person who's always had a head obsessively over her shoulders this type of protagonist is especially hard to relate to But this novel was an exception I believed this young c

  8. says:

    I wouldn't have heard about this author or thought of reading this book if I hadn't attended the Jaipur litfest and heard her speak about it during a couple of events To me the novel was related to 'writing the city' in pa

  9. says:

    I read the book last night Came back from dinner and finished it in one sitting it is hard to put down The books grips you and sucks you into its ‘darkness’ Very gripping flows very well and breaks the boundaries of traditional moral high ground Its about love and sex poverty and wealth the tiredness of liv

  10. says:

    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 m

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