In Custody


  1. Deven Sharma – a Hindi professor in Mirpore in Lala Ram Lal Collège, who is tired of his mundane life. He loves Urdu and is a hero-worshiper to Nur, a famous Urdu poet. He also gets the opportunity to meet Nur. He is very naive and seems to live in a world of his own, full of innocence and childhood dreams which gets him in a vulnerable zone. Too simple thus usually manipulated.
  2. Nur Shahjenabadi – a famous Urdu poet who laments the loss of a beautiful language(Urdu), and thereby a culture. He is a man of age and experience. He lives in misery and confusion as both his wives are constantly involved in a rivalry.
  3. Murad – a cold and calculating friend of Deven who owns a publishing house in Delhi (editor of Awaaz). He exploits Deven and deceives him throughout the novel. He is a bully and is very selfish but a rich kid (of sorts) which gives him an upper hand against Deven, the son of an impoverished widow .
  4. Siddiqui – Deven's fellow lecturer of Urdu, is a figure of the decline of the language and culture for which he stands.
  5. Imtiaz – Nur's second wife; she is a jealous and calculating woman who is trying to steal the limelight off Nur. She is hungry for fame and wealth.
  6. Sarla – Deven's wife; she seems to be controlling Deven. She has some (smallish) dreams of refrigerators and household help thereby her marital life is not a happy one.

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