In the novel Family Planning, nothing happens in the Ahuja family in small doses. They live in one of the most crowded cities in the world, New Delhi. They have thirteen children in a time when modern middle-class couples try to stop at two.
Rakesh Ahuja, the patriarch, is a Member of Parliament and director of urban planning in a chaotic urban landscape. He feels suppressed by a vast, choking bureaucracy. His son, Arjun, tries to escape the clatter and the clutter of his life with head-banging rock music. Every day seems to bring a new breaking point — and sometimes, a new understanding.
The book is the debut novel of Karan Mahajan, who now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, but grew up in New Delhi. Host Scott Simon talks with Mahajan about his comedic book.