An Obedient Father by Akhil Sharma

By Akhil Sharma

“A strong debut novel that establishes Sharma as a best storyteller.”―Philadelphia Inquirer

Ram Karan, a corrupt legitimate in New Delhi, lives together with his widowed daughter and his little granddaughter. Bumbling, unhappy, ironic, Ram is usually a guy corroded via a bad mystery. Taking the reader down right into a international of feuding households and politics, An Obedient Father is a piece of infrequent sensibilities that offers a personality as formulated, humorous, and morally ambiguous as any of Dostoevsky’s antiheroes.

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For you," I said, giving Asha the rackets and shuttlecocks. "Thank you. Thank you," Asha said in Urdu as she took the gift. Asha's choice of switching to a formal language surprised me. It suggested an inner life of which I knew nothing and made me aware that all day I had been imagining her only as a witness. I sat down on their bed and took off my shoes. Asha stood before me and began swinging a racket. "Maybe you can play with some of the compound children," I said. Asha laughed and nodded.

Mr. Mishra was looking out the window. He had finished the inspection report without my asking and it was on his lap. We were near-ing my home. We had passed the Old Clock Tower and were beside the Old Vegetable Market's layers of stalls. The jeep was moving in slow shudders. Pollution had created a blue haze on the road. "You don't notice it till you're away, but Delhi is so polluted it's like living inside an oil tanker," Mr. Mishra said. The dream and the money in my lap made me feel unworthy of his friendship.

He had bribed me once before, for a building permit, soon after he became principal of Rosary School. Also, he had admitted my granddaughter, Asha, into his school without our having to make the enormous donation usually required. But Father Joseph was strange and unpredictable. Several months ago, his school, in a posh part of Old Delhi, had given a dinner party to introduce him. Because of my work for the Delhi municipal education department, I was invited. During the party Father Joseph demonstrated his expertise in karate.

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