A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi
A 2012 New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
Mohammed Ashraf studied biology, became a butcher, a tailor, and an electrician’s apprentice; now he is a homeless day laborer in the heart of old Delhi. How did he end up this way? In an astonishing debut, Aman Sethi brings him and his indelible group of friends to life through their adventures and misfortunes in the Old Delhi Railway Station, the harrowing wards of a tuberculosis hospital, an illegal bar made of cardboard and plywood, and into Beggars Court and back onto the streets.
In a time of global economic strain, this is an unforgettable evocation of persistence in the face of poverty in one of the world’s largest cities. Sethi recounts Ashraf’s surprising life story with wit, candor, and verve, and A Free Man becomes a moving story of the many ways a man can be free.
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Aman bhai Ashraf and Lalloo Ashraf bhai Aslam autorickshaw azadi Babu Babulal Bara Tooti beedis beggars beldaars Bhagwan Bhagwan Das Bihari Bombay bottle Calcutta called chicken Choona Mandi chootiya chowk dehadi Delhi Railway Station desi sharab doctor Dr Hussain drink drunk everything fifty rupees floor hands happened Hindu Rao hospital hundred rupees J.P. Singh Jamil saab Kaka Kalyani Lallan look maalik mazdoors mistrys Mohammed Ashraf months morning mother Munna never Old Delhi Old Delhi Railway once paratha patients Patna pavement pick police pulled Punjabi Raja Bazaar Raja’s RBTB Rehaan road rupees saab Sadar Bazaar safediwallah Satish says Ashraf Sharmaji sleep slipped smoke someone stop story talk Taneja tell theka things thousand rupees tickets todh-phodh told Tooti train unauthorized construction Uttar Pradesh waiting walk What’s worry