18 April, 2021

Slippery Barbie Tattoo

Neon-lit, pulpy prose tracks the scapegrace Charlie in his myriad mishaps across Delhi

Slippery Barbie Tattoo

The title is a pun in a book filled with neon prose and pulp fiction. Charlie, who prefers to be called Seth, has his girlfriend distastefully OD on him just before a party.  Charlie being Charlie, he abandons the body to his Chinese manservant as he flits off to his evening at the Jogis.

Charlie dodges kisses and dubious wheeling dealing only to stumble upon another corpse in the Portaloo. Unfortunately, he has no alibi since his hosts cannot tell when he arrived at the party and the girls he glimpsed on his way have vanished. The pol­iceman Nik has an axe to grind, bec­ause Charlie has never invited him to a party and is determined to arrest him for something or the other, des­pite Charlie’s line to the commissioner of police. A mysterious femme fatale who smells of Shalimar app­ears and winds her tendrils around Charlie’s heart.

Etteth cocks a snook at the high life in Delhi where Moet et Chandon is inferior champagne and only drunk by social climbers in a world where forgettable women chase after Lam­borghinis. He specialises...

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