Deven once thought fondly of the countryside, but no more. He has very little nice to say about Mirpore; in his thoughts, he even laces his explanations of the town's characteristics with a bit of verbal irony. For example, he comments upon "Mirpore's addiction to total dehydration" (22), which, of course, cannot be true but is nonetheless an effective way for Deven to indicate his hostility towards its heat and dustiness.
Verbal and Situational Irony: Deven's "Consolations" to Nur
When describing Deven listening to Nur's grand complaints, the narrator says of the young man, "He stood open mouthed, wondering how to console the poet for the inexorable procession of time, but when he spoke...he stuttered" (48). The irony is in the glib comment that Deven would even be able to speak of such a weighty topic and even be able to convey his thoughts in a meaningful way to the greater man. Then there is a bit more irony, this time situational, in that Deven cannot even speak normally in response to this: he stutters, which is in complete contrast to the poet's ruminations.
Dramatic Irony: Deven's Boasts
The reader knows that Deven's boasts to Murad (91) and Siddiqui (98) are not altogether truthful, but his listeners do not. Against their better inclinations, they are impressed and decide to help Deven out even further, not knowing that the things he is saying and promising are not exactly what the agreement(s) indicated.
Dramatic Irony: Deven's Visits
Jayadev, Deven's colleague, laughingly asks, "who is this fair beauty of Delhi who lures you away every Sunday? The whole college is talking about her" (103). The irony here is that only is Nur not a woman and not a "fair beauty," it is actually a rather sordid, crass scene that Deven is entering when he goes to Delhi. The reader knows there is nothing sultry or alluring about the vomit, binging, sycophants, harridans, and other troubles of Nur's place.
In Custody Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for In Custody is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.