John Irving’s Dr. Farrokh Daruwalla was born in Bombay. Although he lived in Toronto he always felt the need to return to India every four or five years. He would probably keep returning to India as long as there were dwarfs in the circus that he could collect blood from for his research in genetics, which way why he was known affectionately as “the vampire.”
Besides his genetics research Dr. Daruwalla was a secret screenwriter. His character, Inspector Dhar, was a famous actor with a secret; he was separated at birth from his twin. His brother didn’t know about the procedure, he didn’t even know that he was a twin, his mother arbitrarily decided to take one son and abandon the other. Now the twin was coming to Bombay and Dhar’s mother had begged Dr. Daruwalla to be sure that the brothers didn’t meet. Inspector Dhar was a detested antihero and was loathed by the public, an emotion that would soon be directed towards his unsuspecting brother.
These are just a few of the many twisting and turning pathways that John Irving navigates expertly. The beauty of this story is that although there are multiple layers upon layers of events happening, John Irving never lets you get lost, and takes you on a journey through the fascinating country of India.