In An Ideal World – Kunal Basu


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Altaf Hussein, a young Muslim student, has been abducted from his college hostel. The authorities have washed their hands off the matter and the police are accused of a cover up. Rumours claim he has gone to fight the jihad in Iraq. More sinister rumours have him tortured and murdered for opposing the Nationalist students who are on a rampage to create a Hindu homeland in India, driving out Liberal supporters like Altaf and their decadent ideals.

The divide between Liberals and Nationalists invades the Sengupta household in Kolkata when Joy, a bank manager, and Rohini, his schoolteacher wife-both compassionate humanists-learn the shocking news that their only son Bobby has become a leader of the Nationalist students and is implicated in Altaf’s disappearance. Disbelief turns to anguish when they encounter his belligerent ideology and his not-too-convincing denial of his role in the Altaf affair.

Out to solve the mystery of Altaf, Joy and Rohini discover conspiracy and hate, forbidden love and exceptional courage, come face to face with a world caught between the real and the ideal. But will they succeed in absolving their son of the heinous crime? Will Altaf be found after all? Or will they, and this fractured nation, pay the ultimate price for harbouring a fractured heart?


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