A tabloid with a difference, Whitewash is a disturbingly indiscreet piece of writing that rips apart conventional Indian notions of politics, equality, caste, gender, ownership, personal rights, heritage, love of country - all in a way that at once distresses and invigorates, while laying bare the hypocrisy of our ordinary lives. Using personal references, random thoughts, and historical data in a newspaper format littered with misinformation, false advertising, fake tenders and public notices, pretend classifieds and matrimonials - the author presents a happily distorted picture of India. Thieving forest officials, charred housewives, incompetent ministers, conniving bureaucrats, adulterating food suppliers, moneygrubbing builders, established extortionists, are all mixed and matched in the hyper reality of Indian events, places, people and ideas.
Whitewash presents them in grotesquely extravagant form - ordinary people driven by greed, depravity and barbarism in pursuit of their ordinary lives - a portrait deliberately distorted to reveal the underlying falsehoods of Indian daily life.
Praise for Whitewash:
Whitewash is a tragic love story filled with tenderness, joy, and hope.
- Meerut Literary Review
Bhatia's subtle prose has strong resemblances to the early works of Ramesh Pande, Waterworks Engineer with the Bhopal Municipal Corporation.
- R. Pande, BMC Journal
..a lone voice of insanity and despair in a sea of normalcy and calm.
- Indian Police and Prison Review
A remarkable debut. At 73, Bhatia is the brave new voice of Indians writing in Gibberish.
- Rioters News Agency
Too bad Bhatia is a writer. With his absurd and ludicrous view, he would have made a fine architect.
- Indian Architects Quarterly