Khushwant Singh, Deo Haldar
I return to Delhi as I return to my mistress Bhagmati when I have had my fill of whoring in foreign lands…’ Thus begins Khushwant Singh’s vast, erotic, irrelevant magnum opus on the city of Delhi. The principal narrator of the saga, which extends over six hundred years, is a bawdy, ageing reprobate who loves Delhi as much as he does the hijda whore Bhagmati—half man, half woman with sexual inventiveness and energy of both the sexes. Travelling through time, space and history to ‘discover’ his beloved city, the narrator meets a myriad of people—poets and princes, saints and sultans, temptresses and traitors, emperors and eunuchs—who have shaped and endowed Delhi with its very special mystique. And as we accompany the narrator on his epic journey we find the city of emperors transformed and immortalized in our minds forever.