Naked: A NovelBy Aditi Mediratta (Author), Michaela Talwar (Author)
on Nov 30, 2023
A woman’s naked body washes up on the beach in Versova, Mumbai. It is Chinky, a new-age spiritual star with millions of followers on social media. A friend to some, a lover to many, some called her crazy, she called herself a witch.
Police officer Gaikwad, with his woke assistant Sahil, calls in the three people who were closest to the deceased: Iti, a former roommate, a costume stylist who moved to Mumbai from Agra in search of a dream; Abhishek, the romantic who left Delhi for a weekend and stayed on in Mumbai in his obsessive quest for true love; and Vincent, the ex-husband from Auroville who followed her into the concrete jungle, the only thing he loathes more than himself.
Over the course of one night at the police station, as they relive their relationship with Chinky, we are introduced to an array of characters, including a transvestite prostitute who can narrate a one-sentence story given just three words, Iti’s producer boss, Chinky’s many lovers, Abhishek’s goofy colleagues, and Vincent’s parents who still cast a shadow on his life. What emerges is a portrait of a woman who is impossible to define or understand. Much like the city of Mumbai, the crucible that shapes each one of them, alluring and elusive, and unforgettable for anyone who has known either the city or Chinky.
Aditi Mediratta and Michaela Talwar’s Naked is a character study disguised as an investigation into a mysterious death, and an immersive meditation on life, soul-connections and what coming home truly means. As Chinky says, “One human life does not decide what your soul calls home.”
'A perceptive character study, an intriguing mystery, a soulful search for belonging, and a fascinating portrait of Mumbai make this a remarkable work of fiction'
- Shonali Bose, film-maker