Q&A with Dibakar Das Roy

New Delhi is not as “new” as the name might suggest. It is an ancient, cosmopolitan city that has seen many rulers, invaders, and settlers over the centuries. It is a city that is multicultural, yet hostile—forever playing out the battle between insider and outsider. But though Delhi has seen many kings, one can say that the city is the only true monarch, a god in itself. Michael Okeke is one of the many Nigerians living in the city, part of a larger African diaspora that is often looked down upon by the locals and accused of being criminals, cannibals, and more. He is studying for his MBA and dreams of joining the booming corporate sector in India, but in the meantime works as a small-time drug delivery guy to make ends meet. Living on the fringes of society, the only person who takes him in is a sketchy woman by the name of Maansi, someone who does not discriminate between black and white—but also seems to find no difference between right and wrong, a sentiment being echoed in every aspect of the city’s DNA. As Michael navigates this tricky landscape and tries to please the god that is Delhi, we are taken on a journey into Indian society’s tricky relationship with race, color, and identity.