On the surface, as you read this book, it seems like just another compelling story that centres around a man who goes on a downward spiral after the death of his wife.
However upon closer examination, you realise that Dominic Ullis was always standing too close to the edge.
When Dominic finds his wife dead, he goes through the motions of calling her mother, going through with a traditional Hindu funeral and then taking her ashes to Mumbai to lose himself in a new drug called Meow Meow.
On the plane, he meets Payal, a brash woman who lives life the fullest.
You might think that many of Dominic’s decisions are a bit extreme on his part but as the story progresses, you learn more about Dominic and his wife Aki, two very damaged people who crossed paths and decided to spend their lives together.
Aki has always expressed that she wanted to take her own life, and she does, leaving behind a bereaved husband who seems to be heading that way himself. When her spirit realises her mistake, she even tries to communicate with her husband and try to save him.
In Dominic’s case, if Meow Meow doesn’t kill him, it is obvious that Hepatitis C (from a past experience with tainted needles) will.
As our hero goes on his “journey”, he also has to contend with an interesting array of characters he encounters along the way, memories of his past and conversations with his dead wife, we are pulled into this strange adventure.
The book is not as dark as one would think, and offers some light at the end of the tunnel.
It helps that author Jeet Thayil makes Dominic relatable. Overall, a pretty engaging read.