February 22, 2020
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Real Croc Tears

In terms of sheer audacity and the liberties he takes with his tale, few can match Murari's arrangements of love.

Real Croc Tears
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
The Arrangements Of Love
By Timeri N. Murari
Penguin Pages: 304; Rs 295
Set like a medieval tapestry, this fantastic novel offers a rich petit point set with animals, people, trees, the sea, prodigal sons and warring parents, passionate romances and gothic fortresses. It begins with the return of Nikhil Figgis, a young theatre director from New York, to Chennai. Within minutes of his arrival, a taxi driver makes off with his suitcase that contains a precious copy of the book, Georgetown, which he wishes to adapt into a play.

We then meet Apu, who runs a detective agency. Nikhil hires her to locate S.K. Naidu—who turns out to be a cross between Salinger and Miss Havisham, lives in a fortress-like house and entertains no visitors. He is also Nikhil’s long-lost father and the author of Georgetown.

Delicately, Murari weaves Apu, her family and Nikhil’s estranged American wife, Renee, into the plot. Human relationships and a comic underplot that involves a crocodile in Nikhil’s bathtub intertwine like a tangle of bright skeins. The crocodile wraps itself around Nikhil’s heart and when, at the end, he releases it into a river, both their Homeric journeys come to a dramatic close. In terms of sheer audacity and the liberties he takes with his tale, few can match Murari’s arrangements of love.

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