‘As a child, I was a god. Now, if only that were true, what a beautiful story my life would have made. The truth was, I was only almost a god.’
Growing up in the film studios of Madras in the shadow of the Emergency, P. Parashuram wants nothing more than to play Lord Krishna in a biopic his Big Grandfather, legendary director of subversive epics and Father of the Industry, will make for him. This never happens. The Industry betrays Big Grandfather, he fades away, and the only realities that remain in young Parashuram’s life are the myths that fuelled his grandfather’s films and his solitary, overactive imagination.
After a desultory stint at boarding school, Parashuram comes back to the charred world of his grandfather’s dreams. He has just settled down to a life of quiet despair when a woman we know only as A.K. bursts into his life a fast-talking, well-connected wheeler-dealer who becomes his elder sister, takes him to America and gives him a job. But even as Parashuram’s life looks up, airplanes crash into the Twin Towers and he is stranded in San Francisco, alone, paranoid, and without a passport. When he tries to confront and make sense of events, Parashuram finds that all he has is the fantastic world of goddesses and gorgons of his beloved myths.