From his accidental rescue of a Sikh in the aftermath of Gandhi's assassination at the beginning of the book, he becomes the one character we can easily care about. He's never quite sure what's going on around him and peers out at the world through glasses through which he can barely see. To everyone around him he is a figure of ridicule and in some cases an embarrassment. But his still continues to doggedly press on because, what other choice does he have?
He is the only truly sympathetic character in the book who has no hidden agenda aside from the one we all have — which is to try and make do as best we can with what we are given. Perhaps Sujit Saraf is offering him as an example of the confusion that besets most decent people when confronted by horrors beyond their comprehension and events they can't control.
The Peacock Throne is about India and Delhi specifically, but it is also about the human condition. Sujit Saraf has written a wonderful novel full of aptly drawn characters and evocative settings. He is unsparing in his detailing of the seamier side of life in the streets of Delhi and the less savoury side of Indian politics.
But in spite of that he is still able to create a picture of Delhi that is exciting and intriguing. It may be scary in places, but what big city isn't? Up until now I've only read books which have featured Bombay -– Mumbai, as it's now known — and known very little about India's other famous city. Like others before him have put Mumbai on the map, Saraf has turned a spotlight on Delhi and given her a closeup.