Mr. Smith Goes to Delhi

JAMIE TANAKA for TIME

STELLAR: Saraf plots satellite controls by day, fiction and drama by night

If you seek the face of India — or perhaps a nice shirt, sari, necklace, stuffed paratha, air conditioner, television set or water pump — look no farther than Chandni Chowk. That centuries-old market near old Delhi's famed Red Fort is a crumbling warren of shops, food stalls, shrines, temples and mosques. Indians of varying ethnic and religious hues work and worship alongside each other in grudging harmony, sharing a common language: money.

So it is perhaps not surprising that Sujit Saraf chose Chandni Chowk as the main setting for his ambitious 750-page novel of politics, commerce and...

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