MP3 Audio Sample
A tale of vice and passion set against a backdrop of late-1970s Bombay finds a New Yorker becoming entranced with the underworld culture of an opium den and brothel where he encounters a pipe-making eunuch, a violent businessman, and a Chinese refugee.
Narcopolis opens in Bombay in the late 1970s, as itsnarrator first arrives from New York to find himself entranced with the city'sunderworld, in particular an opium den and attached brothel. A cast ofunforgettably degenerate and magnetic characters works and patronizes thevenue, including Dimple, the eunuch who makes pipes in the den; Rumi, thesalaryman and husband whose addiction is violence; Newton Xavier, thecelebrated painter who both rejects and craves adulation; Mr. Lee, the Chineserefugee and businessman; and a cast of poets, prostitutes, pimps, andgangsters.
Decades pass to reveal a changing Bombay, where opium hasgiven way to heroin from Pakistan and the city's underbelly has become everrawer. Those in their circle still use sex for their primary release andrecreation, but the violence of the city on the nod and its purveyors havemoved from the fringes to the center of their lives. Yet Dimple, despite thebleakness of her surroundings, continues to search for beauty—at the movies, inpulp magazines, at church, and in a new burka-wearing identity.
After a long absence, the narrator returns in 2004 tofind a very different Bombay. Those he knew are almost all gone, but thepassion he feels for them and for the city is revealed.
Running time 9 hrs