The Scent of God by Saikat Majumdar

The book by Saikat Majumdar came out in the month of January 2019 and was published by Simon and Schuster India.

In an elite all-boys’ boarding school run by a Hindu monastic order in late-twentieth-century India, things aren’t what they look like on the surface. Anirvan, a young student, is fascinated by the music and silence of spiritual life. He dreams of becoming a monk. But as he seeks his dream, he finds himself drawn to a fellow student, and they come together to form an intimate and unspeakable relationship.

The boys sweat at cricket and football, crack science and mathematics in pursuit of golden careers, and meditate to the aroma of incense and flowers. It’s a world of ruthless discipline shaped by monks in flowing saffron. A skeptical teacher mentors Anirvan and reveals his suspicion of this vigilant atmosphere. Does the beating of the boys reveal urges that cannot be named? What is the meaning of monastic celibacy? What, indeed, holds the brotherhood together?

Against himself, Anirvan gets sucked into a whirl of events outside the walls of the monastery, in the midst of prostitutes, scheming politicians and the impoverished Muslims of the villages surrounding the school. When the love of his life returns to him, the boys’ desire for each other pushes them towards a wild course of action. But will that give them a life together in a world that does not recognize their kind of love?

About the author

Saikat Majumdar is the author of two novels: Silverfish, and the widely acclaimed The Firebird (published in the US as Play House), featured in The Telegraph’s Best Books of the year and a finalist for the Mumbai Film Festival Word-to-Screen Market and the Bangalore Literature Festival Fiction Prize. He has also published a book of nonfiction, College: Pathways of Possibility, and a book of literary criticism, Prose of the World. He lives in Delhi and teaches literature and creative writing at Ashoka University.

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