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‘Balzac could not have done better’ —The Financial Express In this sparkling collection of stories, India’s best-known writer addresses some pertinent questions: Why do we believe in miracles? Can a horoscope guarantee the perfect wife? Is the Kamasutra a useful manual for newlyweds? Margaret Bloom arrives in Haridwar from New York to save her soul. But she soon discovers that there are temptations even on the banks of the holy Ganga. Madan Mohan Pandey, amateur astrologer and scholar of ancient Hindu texts, finds to his horror that his doe-like bride is not quite what he had expected. Pious Zora Singh, Pride of the Nation, rumoured to be a chaar sau bees and a womanizer, silences his detractors by earning the Bharat Ratna. Devi Lal makes his peace with a fickle God when his daughter-in-law delivers a son, following secret visits to the Peer Sahib’s tomb. And Vijay Lall, emboldened by his miraculous escape from death, decides to act upon his silent obsession with Karuna Chaudhury, which takes him to a shifty soothsayer behind the Khan Market loo. Khushwant Singh returns to the short story after decades to deliver a truly memorable collection—humorous, provocative, tongue-in-cheek, ribald and even, at times, tender.

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