Paul Schrader meets Nabokov in this crazed and profane coming of age tale. Zorawar Singh Shokeen of Chandrawal is one of those terrifying Delhi musclemen who run its politics from the shadows. He owns a house in the environs of the University North Campus, which he lets out as a hostel for boys. Occasionally, he uses the hostel to host his mistress, Madam midha. Otherwise, he recruits from among his young tenants the footsoldiers for his violent campaigns; their leader, a scrawny MA (Previous) student from Bihar–the legendary Jishnu da. It is 1992, and at this aggressively male world, ordered along the simple principles of caste, class and region, arrive two kids from Patna. The fresh-faced Pranjal Sinha,his up-for-it best friend, and the narrator of Day Scholar, Hriday Thakur. In the twilight years between adolescence and adulthood, the Shokeen Niwas boys are concerned with elections, girls and examinations. And Hriday, who hopes to be a writer some day, is drawn, like moth to flame, irresistibly to the material they provide. Forsaken his first love, he becomes trapped instead by a series of misjudgments that lead him finally to the doorstep of Madam’s house and, in it, her fourteen-year-old apple-cheeked daughter Sonya. If Hriday can be saved from a terrible end, it is only by the daily, cleansing act of reading and writing. This is novel about love, ambition, and the fragility of both. As tender as fumbling youth and as hard as a calloused fist, Day Scholar is a clear-eyed, gritty and, ultimate, beautiful exposition of innocence under fire. It marks Siddhartha Chowdhury as one of the most extraordinary gifted writers of his generation.