Faredoon (Freddie) Junglewalla is either the jewel of the Parsi community or a murdering scoundrel. Freddie’s mother-in-law, Jerbanoo, thinks he is planning to do away with her, but Freddie has always been a pragmatist: if the old woman were to die (be murdered?) the body would have to be placed on the open-roofed Towers of Silence, in keeping with custom, and that would never do.
Insurance fraud and arson, however, are well within Freddie’s repertoire—in fact he thinks he has invented the idea, so advanced is it for India, in 1901. As his ‘skills’ grow he becomes a man of consequence among the Parsis, with people travelling thousands of miles to see him in Lahore, especially if they wish to escape tight spots they have got themselves into.
In this wickedly comic novel, the celebrated author of Ice-Candy Man takes us into the heart of the Parsi community, portraying its varied customs and traits with contagious humor.