02 August, 2021

Malabari Pangs Along Persia Sands

Deepak Unnikrishnan’s explosive debut novel Temporary People, a dystopian portrayal of life of Malayalis in the Gulf, has got rave reviews abroad and he is being hailed as the fresh, young voice in fiction. Here, first excerpts from the exceptional book.

Illustrations by Deepak Unnikrishnan
Malabari Pangs Along Persia Sands

Chabter one
Gulf Return

In a labor camp, somewhere in the Persian Gulf, a laborer swallowed his passport and turned into a passport. His roommate swallowed a suitcase and turned into a little suitcase. When the third roommate, privy and vital to the master plan, ran away the next morning with the new suitcase and passport, he made it past the guard on night duty, onto the morning bus to the airport, past the bored ticket agent at check-in, past security, past pat down and a rummage through his suitcase, past using the bathroom once, twice, thrice, to pee, to shit, to sit, past Duty Free, where he stared at chocolates and booze and magazines and currencies, past families eating fast food in track suits or designer wear, past men and women sleeping on the floor, past his past, past his present, past the gold in the souks, the cranes in the sky, petrol in the air, dreams in his head, past God and the devil, the smell of mess halls, past humidity and hot air, past it all, until he found an empty chair in the departures lounge, where he sat and held his...

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