When Mr. Jha sells his company for an exorbitant amount of money, he and his wife begin immediately planning their escape from the cramped housing complex they've called home for decades. As they settle into a spacious mansion in an affluent neighborhood of New Delhi, their lives become an exercise in keeping up appearances. Suddenly, Mr. Jha needs a diamond-encrusted couch, a round-the-clock guard, and a chauffeured car — and doesn't understand why Mrs. Jha seems unimpressed with these new necessities. Meanwhile, their son's promising future at an American business school is slipping away, and his desperation to hide his failing grades leads to greater issues for the family.
Hilarious and fast-paced, The Windfall explores themes of class, marriage, and whether happiness can truly be bought.
"The summer heat was getting on his nerves. The heat in Delhi summers did not just come from the air; it radiated up from the ground and came off the walls of the buildings and pushed you from every direction, making it difficult to move. What was the point of all this money if he couldn't escape the blistering midday temperatures? It should be possible, Mr. Jha thought, to have a small portable air-conditioned Plexiglas cubicle built to walk around in. After all, he had had a shower installed in the Gurgaon bathrooms so he would no longer have to use a bucket filled with water and a mug to pour over his body. So maybe he could have a similar contraption — completely sealed and cooled -- to take everywhere with him. It would make life a lot more pleasant. Maybe something with wheels. But then that would just be a car."
Diksha Basu is a writer and actor. She splits her time between New York and Mumbai, India.
Length: 295 pages
Set in: New Delhi, India