Author: Anuradha Marwah Roy
Publisher: Ravi Dayal
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8175300299
Love is essentially unfair in Idol Love, a novel set in the immediate present and the foreseeable future.
There is always a lover and a beloved, a worshipper and an image. Sacerdotal relationships span an age, connecting the untidy, festering Delhi of today with a sickly sweet-smelling Rajdhani, the name of the capital in the twenty-first century.
It all begins when Rajni falls desperately in love with a Ghalib-spouting professor who is set up as the leader of the Secularists after the demolition of a Masjid. He makes impassioned speeches and forms a bond with Rajni during anti-communal demonstrations. Their love-story refuses to end even with death, because in Raminland - the India of the future - everything can be preserved over centuries by faith.
A tale of rebirths and recycling is conceived by a writer who lives to be a hundred, most of the time locked up in her South Rajdhani flat. It does not help matters that miracles take place outside; idols drink milk in temples, and human beings freeze into images. The media only report tales told by the powerful. So to make sense of the fictional world around her the writer is forced to step out into reality where she finds stranger things.
In the old-new land she only half recognizes, incantations are rising from sacred fires to become storm clouds; the complete Indians, now called Ramins, are further suppressing the dispossessed Drohis; revolutionaries with their links in Ghetto 99 and the followers of Maya are singing Ghalib's ghazals.
Moreover, intrigue hangs heavily in the air as another Rajni's mother-in-law plots to have the young woman's body 'restructured'. As one story whirls into another, the aged writer - never out of her depth - throws herself and her books into the fray, in the bargain taking on three generations of her own family, the image-making industry, and the Sadhoo regime of Raminland.