Irreverent, farcical and as enlightening as it is entertaining, The Peacock Throne is a novel of breathtaking scope and reach, which looks deep into the heart of human nature and into the soul of modern India.
October 31 1984 begins like any other day for Gopal Pandey as he sets up his tea stall in a lane off Chandni Chowk, the most magnificent and crowded street in all Delhi. At its head lies Red Fort, once the home of the gem-encrusted Peacock Throne, symbol of the Mughal Empires dazzling might and of its downfall.
By the end of the day, Indira Gandhi has been assassinated, violent riots have erupted and Gopal is the bemused possessor of a large sum of money. Fourteen turbulent years and four dramatic turning points in Indian history later, this myopic, bumbling man stands on the verge of immense political power.
Gopal’s unlikely journey is a tale of accidents, scheming, murder and tragedy, religious and political rivalries, corruption and hubris.