19 September 2008, the Batla House encounter. That one day changed the life of a young man from Inderwan Bairam in Bihar’s Gopalganj district. An over-protected childhood in the village, an ambitious migration to Delhi as a young boy for better education, an undisciplined and shiftless adolescence – all of this history is flattened out into one tiny slice of Neyaz Farooquee’s identity: Muslim. From Jamia Nagar. Who lived practically next door to the Terrorists who had been killed in the encounter. A Potential Terrorist himself? How, after all, does a man prove that he is (and not merely pretending to be) a Normal Human Being?
Sardonic and wise, Farooquee scrapes out the unvarnished truth about identity and stereotypes, about life in a ghetto, and the small and big disappointments that make up an ordinary life.