The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate trip of numerous times across the Indian key — from the confined neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new megacity to the mountains and denes of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war. It's an paining love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a tale, in a cry, through unsentimental gashes and occasionally with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its icons are people who have been broken by the world they live in and also saved, renovated together by acts of love — and by stopgap. The tale begins with Anjum who used to be Aftab — unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a megacity graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, indelible Tilo and the men who loved her — including Musa, squeeze andex-sweetheart, nut andex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo’s landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And also we meet the two Miss Jebeens the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Killers ’ Graveyard; the alternate set up at night, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi. As this ravishing, deeply humane new lacings these lives together, it reinvents what a novel can do and can be. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness demonstrates on every runner the phenomenon of Arundhati Roy’s liar gifts.