Society by Mehernosh Kapadia, which is a truly local effort, could do with some promotion, and really well deserved it would be. The language is regular middle class Mumbai and the story looks at aspects of our society which we usually look away from or brush under the carpet, so that in some time we can pretend that they do not exist at all.
Vrinda Athavle is a drug addict and a prostitute. Worse than all this is that, in modern India, she happens to be a Dalit; which is a dangerous disqualification.
She is in jail after being accused of murdering Vijay Patel, the only son of a powerful minister, who is lobbying to become the prime minister of the country.
N. Dev is one of the fifty partners of a law firm, and is really good at his work. He is appointed by the court to defend Vrinda. This sets the stage for every kind of turmoil in his life, from losing everything he holds dear, his job, the perks that come with it, the love and trust of his wife and family, the respect and support of his friends and colleagues.
Dev has excellent skills which bring the firm its successes in the hallowed halls of justice, as well the talent to negotiate out of court settlements, which most clients, who are more often wrong than right, opt for when offering compensation for their indulgences or peccadilloes discreetly.
‘Most residents who knew Vijay Patel always assumed he would die young. He was wild, reckless, to the degree only a child of enormous wealth could afford to be. His father possessed a net worth in excess of Rs.25,000 crores…Goda Patel had threatened to cut Vijay out of his will on more than one occasion. But now it was the son who was threatening his father’s future: the circumstances of Vijay’s death and his many indiscretions posed an imminent threat to Goda’s dream of becoming PM.’
This book is about how the overambitious will stop at nothing.
By Mehernosh Kapadia
Published by Kumar Publications