Inside the world of drugs1 min read . Updated: 14 Jan 2020, 09:54 PM IST
Jeet Thayil takes us into the underbelly of the city of dreams, holding the hand of a grief-stricken protagonist in search of oblivion and a new drug, Meow Meow
Dominic Ullis has just cremated his wife. Unable to deal with his empty house and life in Delhi, he makes an impromptu plan to catch a flight to Bombay (the book sticks to the original name) and start the next chapter of his life. There, Ullis turns to drugs to overcome his loss, and even snorts the last of his wife’s ashes. Meanwhile, a new drug, Meow Meow, is becoming popular in the city, and Ullis wants to get his hands on it. Kerala-born author and poet Jeet Thayil’s new, drug-fuelled novel, Low, follows Ullis’ journey of dealing with personal loss and misadventures in the city’s dark nooks and crevices. “It was blissful and now it was gone. Only twenty minutes had passed since that essential nasal intervention and he was already in the market for another. Either the cocaine was not as good as he thought or his tolerance was increasing from one snort to the next," Thayil writes of Ullis’ addiction. Low, which will be released on 23 January, reels the reader in from the first page itself. Thayil made people sit up and take notice with his debut novel, Narcopolis, in 2012, which went on to win the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His work draws inspiration from his own experiences. As a former addict, Thayil brings alive the world of narcotics in his books, especially in Low.