Meet August.

He's training to become a civil servant.
But he prefers reading Marcus Aurelius for pleasure and listening to Bob Dylan and Miles Davis while occasionally masturbating and smoking pot.

Now meet his mentors- the people who'll train him to become an Administrative Service Officer, a member of the most influential and powerful cadre of civil servants in the country.

There's Srivastava, the pompous Collector of the District; his less-than-faithful wife Malti; Sathe, a manic local cartoonist and pot-smoker; Kumar, Superintendent of Police and porn-movie connoisseur; Vasant, the world's worst cook and a very, very sociable Frog.

English, August is sprightly, profane, irreverent, erotic and wicked. This is the India you have heard about but never seen.

A foreigner in his own country, August negotiates this provincial creek with the only paddle he can find; Fantasy, daydreams and "self-abuse" become his means of revolt and escape as he escapes from the heat into the mystery and quiet of his secret world of erotic fantasy and contemplation.

Augusts experience of "the real" India becomes a roller-coaster ride of culture-shock, chaos, confusion and hyperactive sexuality.

From his class and family background; his education and upbringing-he seems destined to be one of modern India's governing elite.


In a strange place you have to hold your own