Amitava Kumar’s latest book, a biography of Patna, is infested with lurid rats. In the opening chapter of the book A Matter of Rats, Kumar writes that these pesky rodents lurk in the chthonic underworld and emerge in the night to binge on the city’s resources and bloat up to be “as big as cats”. The local newspapers also report on their carnivorous feats and feasts with incidents of babies being bitten by rats.

The use of rats as a symbol of ghoulish appetite is not novel. One story comes to mind: in 2008, The New Yorker published a short story by T. Coraghessan Boyle called “Thirteen Hundred Rats”. In the story, a man called Gerard is grieving the loss of his wife. To get over her death, he buys a python as a pet (he is allergic to dogs and cats) but instead gets attached to the rat he buys for the python’s dinner. The rat’s dependence on him makes him feel tenderness and as a result, he buys ten more. They multiply and presumably kill him in the end.

The story is told from the perspective of a neighbour who describes the scene of Gerard’s house after his death thus: “I’m told that when the firemen broke down the front door a sea of rodents flooded out into the yard ... Inside, the floors were gummy with waste, and everything, from the furniture to the plasterboard walls and the oak beams of the ceiling, had been gnawed and whittled… there were hundreds more rats stacked in cages, most of them cannibalized …”

The narrator is shocked to witness his neighbour’s destruction. He ascribes it to a character flaw for keeping “creatures that could only be described as pests, as vermin, as enemies of mankind that should be exterminated and not nurtured.”

In both these stories, the rat is a symbol of squalor, greed, breakdown of harmonious social ties, and faithlessness. Perhaps it’s not strange that Kumar chooses to talk about these dirty pests in his homage to his native city.

Patna—the capital of the badland state of India, Bihar (one reviewer called it the armpit of India)—is infamous for its lawlessness, kidnappings, corruption and cultural decadence. The macabre cupidity of these rats is a reflection of its residents. There have been many negative stereotypes about the dystopic state targeting its rustic accented language, its backwardness (with open defecation as its dominant image), and the belligerent and macho posturing of its citizens. Anyone who has grown up in this city cannot escape these stereotypes, as the writer Upamanyu Chatterjee said and which is quoted in the preface of the book: “I was born in Patna. I can’t efface that from my history. It’s in my passport.”

Kumar does not efface his Bihari identity (he has written an entire book on his passport that I shall discuss later in the essay), but in a disarming move, embraces the insecurities, shame and memory of it, and transforms them into raw materials for his books.

Kumar grew up in Patna before moving to Delhi and then the United States to study. He currently teaches English at Vassar College, besides writing books and articles in the print media. He has written six books, of which one is a work of fiction set in Bihar, Delhi and Mumbai. His previous book, A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, received the Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the Asian American Literary Awards. His work deals with immigrant identity, Hindu-Muslim relationships, terrorism, literary theory, poetry and photography.

Kumar is a geek. He is a writer with his nose buried deep in books. He refers to every book written and every film made on the subject he is writing about, and then adds to it his own research and thoughts. More often than not, his conclusions are filled with poignant contradictions.

Kumar is a geek. He is a writer with his nose buried deep in books. He refers to every book written and every film made on the subject he is writing about, and then adds to it his own research and thoughts. More often than not, his conclusions are filled with poignant contradictions. As a writer, he is painstaking, diligent and self-conscious. He dissects each event in his life from different perspectives. For him, knowledge lies in difference.

Kumar’s flair lies in non-fiction writing and memoirs. His most important contribution to writing is that he has made the form of memoir versatile. His memoirs (almost all his books are autobiographical in some sense, from Passport PhotosHusband of a FanaticBombay-London-New York, and Home Products, to A Matter of Rats) are palimpsests: an accumulation of personal vignettes, travelogues, research, political events, movements, and political theory. He connects his life to a stream of larger political and social flow. The personal is always political, and also textual, for he condenses his life into a library.

Writing is a self-conscious, mimetic act for him because before he became a writer, he was enamoured of books and writers. His prose is deliberate, a product of incisive research. He also brings some of the apprehensions of his craft into his books. This is seen in A Matter of Rats when he waits for the Bihari protagonist—Mohammed Ashraf of Aman Sethi’s A Free Man—one early morning in Chandni Chowk. He worries aloud whether he would turn up and about the fate of the book he is writing. All these apprehensions make the writer a human with frailties, and not an “omniscient expert”.

On the flip side, Kumar himself suffuses his characters with a tender humanity, be it a terrorist or a poet with a failed marriage. To present the world with its impurities and contradictions is his major preoccupation. In an interview to blog and discussion forum Sepia Mutiny, he had once said, “As a writer, I want to portray how messed-up the world is. Also, if I could add: As a writer, I am so messed-up, and I don’t want to hide that either.”

The messiness of identity forged by a complicated relationship with his homeland and his current home is the dominant theme of Kumar’s memoirs. Most of his books deal with his homeland and its memory, like a lot of expatriate writers like V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie and Jhumpa Lahiri, who have based their stories in their lost homes. Kumar’s choice is exemplary because of the nature of his hometown.

With Patna, he shares a relationship of reluctant intimacy. It is its decadence that forced Kumar to leave in the first place. Earlier he was filled with shame at his roots (as expressed in his book Bombay-London-New York). Now there is a gossamer of guilt and tenderness laced with it. Through the symbol of rats, Kumar is not only being irreverent towards the city but also towards himself. The sign of rats have their own significance (as Kumar often stresses with Derridaesque élan, “I like difference”). The first: the malignant rats that haunt the city; the second: the rats that have deserted it. Kumar belongs to the latter category.

The image of rats stealing his mother’s dentures (which he uses as a motif through his body of work) could sum up the essence of rats possessed by a demonic engine to survive; their constant biting reflects their industriousness and survival strategies in the face of adversity, which becomes the metaphor for all the citizens living in Patna. He writes, “I have some admiration for the rat that, unlike me, hasn’t fled Patna and has found it possible to live and thrive there. Oh, biradar, who is the rat now?”

All expatriates become rats and if we extrapolate the author’s definition of an expatriate as a man who goes back with many suitcases instead of the one that he had brought on the first journey, then Kumar himself becomes a rat with many suitcases. One suitcase is filled with guilt and ruefulness for desertion; one for memories; and one with a mixture of fatality and relief that going away was the only way. The rat had no choice but to migrate 

In an interview to Business Line, Kumar said, “What I wanted to do was exploit that stereotype and turn it on its head and say something different about rats—how highly sociable, inventive, determined they are. And, finally, I wanted to subvert that aesthetic and say ‘I am the rat’. I am the one who abandoned his old parents.”

Kumar had abandoned them in his head even while living there. He had started reading. Through books he could build an identity based on his phantasms and inhabit many worlds at the same time. Bombay-London-New York is a memoir of those journeys or “illusions of travels” through books and his struggles to become a writer. Bombay, London and New York are as much fictive, phantom cities as real ones that he encountered through many writers, especially Naipaul and Hanif Kureishi. They mentored him and initiated him into the world of writers and readers. In most part, the experiences and feelings of the writer are compared to the experiences of other writers in a mimetic act. This is perhaps the only book written by an Indian writer about books and reading as a way to open up the universe of a fledgling writer.

Reading also cleared his fog of shame at being a Bihari by connecting him to an imagined community of readers and writers. He reveals the smothering shame in A Matter of Rats: “I told stories about Patna because they were a part of my shame at having come from nowhere.” He returned to Patna in his writing only after he had left Patna physically, “I still write about it (Patna) as if I knew very little else.”

The best source of information about Kumar is his books. In Bombay-London-New York, he reveals that the desire to write struck him after reading Finding the Center by Naipaul. Kumar was studying in Hindu College, Delhi and the first sentence of the book echoed inside him: “It is now nearly thirty years since, in a BBC room in London, on an old BBC typewriter, and on smooth, ‘non-rustle’ BBC script paper, I wrote the first sentence of my first publishable book.” Naipaul was almost 23 when he wrote his first book, and Kumar felt a tremor when he realised that he was of the same age. He immediately longed to leave for London.

Sometime later, he read A House for Mr Biswas about the struggles of a Mr Biswas, who wanted to be a writer, leave for London, and get published in foreign publications. Mr Biswas was modelled after Naipaul’s father who had a similar fate, and from whom a young Naipaul had learned about the writer’s craft and imagination. Kumar was surrounded by friends leaving for London to study on scholarships, but he was unable to do so because of his low marks.

He could identify very deeply with the twinge of envy of Mr Biswas when he learns that his brother-in-law was going to London to study medicine: “Mr Biswas was overwhelmed ... He had never thought someone so close to him could escape so easily. Concealing his sadness and envy, he made a show of enthusiasm and offered advice about shipping lines.” For Kumar, the house in A House of Mr Biswas is not only about Mr Biswas’s established selfhood and independence, but also about acquiring a room to write.

After reading Naipaul’s books, Kumar’s vague, formless longings moved towards a similar vocation. Naipaul’s similar background in Finding the Center—with its story about a start in village life in India—also suggested a narrative from Kumar’s own past. He writes, “The book was my personal example of London coming to me: it planted in my mind the idea of leaving home.”

Instead of London, he went to the US. He describes his actual leave-taking from Patna to the US thus: “Only one plane flew out from Patna during the afternoon. Through the small window in the plane, I watched the rest of my family standing far from the tarmac. It was hot outside … Although they were unable to see me, one or two of my relatives would raise their hand and wave. When the plane started moving, a cousin took off her long, scarflike dupatta and held it up with both hands so that an elegant span of bright orange unfurled in the strong breeze.”

This image is a repetition of the image of Naipaul leaving Trinidad for London, described on the last page of Miguel Street: “I left them all and walked briskly towards the aeroplane, not looking back, looking only at the shadow before me, a dancing dwarf on the tarmac.”

The difference between these two images is that while Naipaul moves on briskly with his characteristic unsentimental hauteur away from the clutch of relatives he wanted to flee, Kumar is looking at his relatives from the window of his plane, unnoticed by them. They both have written about their past homes, which is one of the defining features of diasporic literature, but while Naipaul has been able to maintain a more stoical distance from his past and reflected in the razor-sharp brilliance of his prose, Kumar’s books appear muddled between past and present, imagination and memory, fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose, reality and theory. This fragmented form expresses the differences and contradictions of a writer of diasporic literature who cannot experience the wholeness of reality anymore.

In a review of Naipaul’s Half a Life, Kumar wrote: “The dream of wholeness, or of return to one's origins, is a pervasive psychical preoccupation among diasporic peoples. Displacement often carries the pathos of misaddressed letters. The pathos comes from the knowledge that completeness is a myth. Origins lie in the irrecoverable, damaged past. If there is no wholeness, you cannot claim originality. There is only mimicry.”

Kumar realises that eating beef is not a mark of his rebellion but his bondage to his past. He is letting his past define him.

His journey away from his origins starts with the desire of belonging elsewhere. Fuelled by reading he was filled with a displaced identity. When he eats beef and drinks Heineken beer on the first day of his arrival in the US, he is trying to rebel against the strictures of his past. He is also emulating Mahatma Gandhi who used to eat goat meat in secret from his mother to build up his masculinity. He in turn was emulating the British rulers.

Kumar realises that eating beef is not a mark of his rebellion but his bondage to his past. He is letting his past define him. The second phase of his journey turned into a complex nostalgia. His nostalgia is not simple for a mythic, unitary past but a more diverse past. He writes, “As fiction of so many contemporary Indian writers reveals, our memories as Indians are also memories of movements across different countries and continents. We have built our homes in Britain, Burma, in Africa, in South America, in the Caribbean, and in North America. If our past was all these places, can we be nostalgic for only one place? Can we be nostalgic about a place that never was?”

A somewhat similar emotion was expressed by another expatriate Indian writer, Salman Rushdie, in his collection of essays Imaginary Homelands: “It may be that writers in my position, exiles or emigrants, or expatriates, are haunted by some sense of loss, some urge to reclaim, to look back, even at the risk of being mutated into pillars of salt. But if we do look back, we must also do so in the knowledge—which gives rise to profound uncertainties—that our physical alienation from India almost inevitably means that we will not be capable of reclaiming precisely the thing that was lost; that we will, in short, create fictions, not actual cities or villages, but invisible ones, imaginary homelands, Indias of the mind.”

For Rushdie the fragmentary aspect of these memories made them acquire a special symbology because “they were remains; fragmentation made trivial things seem like symbols, and the mundane acquired numinous qualities…” While Rushdie created a magical past from these remains of memory; Kumar literally used them as fragments. The structure of his books mixes personal narrative to marginalia on contemporary Indian fiction to cultural and political criticism to photographs and poems by the author.

This structure has been clearly defined from his first book, Passport PhotosPassport Photos is also a multi-genre book that combines theory, cultural criticism, poetry, photography and memoir to report on the heterogeneous immigrant experience. The book is organised as a forged passport and the chapters are organised around the different categories of a passport like name, language, date of birth, etc. The book is an intervention in the impersonal state language that flattens the lives of an immigrant into these terse categories. Kumar expands these categories and tries to show how rich, tragic and complex an immigrant’s life is. It cannot be reduced to a passport.

The shame of being from a backward state was converted into an immigrant’s shame in the US. In Passport Photos, he describes this immigrant, postcolonial condition, especially among the postcolonial, immigrant writer. The shame is due to having come from a previously colonised state and migration into the metropolitan state. It results in “unbelonging” due to the lack of an “existing community in praxis” (in Kumar’s case, the shame was also due to the practices of the community he belonged to). Judging from V. S. Naipaul’s books on India and Salman Rushdie’s Shame, he concludes that “that inexplicable shame that permeates the postcolonial writer is only that of being taken as a representative by the west but having no one, in any sense, to represent.”

It’s one of the strongest points of Kumar that he brings these hidden, nebulous feelings into the stage of discourse. This is a result in his belief in theorist Ashis Nandy’s words, which warned that if the emotional and cognitive effects of colonialism were forgotten, they would come back to haunt us in “history”. Kumar’s writing is a struggle against forgetting and Passport Photos has a fractured form of memory.

This structure lends a “stubborn density” to a migrant’s life, much more than a passport can store. For the migrants, the experience of place, language and culture is mutated: they are either doubled or fractured. That leads to a hybridity that is both exhilarating from the point of view of culture (Kumar calls the results of diasporic travels and mixing of cultural influences as pure chutney after he visited Trinidad) but tragic from a personal point of view. The immigrants’ identity of a place is shaped by loss of their homeland place and displacement in their present home. As Kumar wrote in Bombay-London-New York, “both my shame and nostalgia are a part of the experience of having left Patna, where I didn’t want to belong, and then coming to America, where I’m not sure I can ever belong.”

In 1997, Kumar had written a poem called “Poems for the INS” that sum up his fragmented self. It starts like this:

“The cigarette smoke lingered
in the blue Minnesota chill
as my friend said, “I’d like to talk
to you of other things.
Not politics again but things like
whether you are lonely.”

What could be more political
than the fact that I'm lonely,
that I am so far away
from everything I've known?”

But, the consular here has other queries.
Do you have property in India?
Land? Relatives? Anything?

“Write down, officer:
The yellow of mustard blossoms
stretching to the blue horizon.
My grandmother's tears
when she asks me what good is your learning
when it steals you from my embrace.
In our old house, with its dampness,
the music of my sister's laughter.”

Later in the poem, the poet talks about the look of distrust in the eyes of the visa officer:

“You just can't trust them," the first one repeats,
shaking his wrist to loosen his heavy watch.
The one sitting down now raises his weary eyes.
“Did you, the first time you went there,
intend to come back?”
“Wait a minute,” I say, “did you get a visa
when you first went to the moon? Fuck the moon,
tell me about Vietnam. Just how precise
were your plans there, you asshole?

Do you understand
that every time a doctor, teacher, engineer, or scholar
comes to the United States from India
you save more on bills
than what you and Charlie here
would be able to pay
till the year two thousand and four?
So that your saying that we can’t be trusted
is like the owner shouting his worker’s lazy
after he has stripped his skin and taken his soul.
He's sold ... do you hear me?
Hear me
because I want this fact to be stored
like a bullet in your heart.”

Maybe I did say all of this, and it was fear
that I saw in the officer's eyes
when in response to my shrug
he slowly turned the pages of my passport and stamped it.

One of the most enduring features of Kumar’s work is that he politicises intangibles—like feelings of shame, loneliness, love, marriage—and poeticises tangibles, like questions on the visa, war, property relations, laws into a hybrid form of poetical/political text. He blurs the boundaries between the inner and the outer world. In 2004, his book Husband of a Fanatic came out after his marriage. The fanatic in the title is his wife Mona, a Pakistani Muslim he had fallen in love with in 1999 against the background of the Kargil war between India and Pakistan. Soon after, the Godhra riots erupted in Gujarat, but they got married.

For the marriage, Kumar had to undergo a symbolic religious conversion, adopting the name Safdar, because he was told that had he not converted, their marriage would not be considered legal in Pakistan. In an honest account, Kumar confesses his ambivalence about his conversion and awareness that it would hurt his parents. Before the wedding, he was aware that his marriage was a historic event.

He writes, “I felt good about myself for marrying ‘the enemy’ ... I was suddenly awash in altruism; its tepid tide cleansed me of a narrow, binding form of self-love.”

This marriage led to a journey to discover the intricacies of his new formed identity. Kumar met a series of people, from victims of the Godhra riots, war widows of Kargil, his new relatives in Pakistan, schoolchildren on either side of the border, and finally the border from both sides to give a nuanced view of Hindu-Muslim relationships. He writes with a dark humour that tends to dilute the hatred between the communities at face value before its macabre nature sinks in.

In Uttar Pradesh, where karsevaks destroyed the Babri mosque in 1992, Kumar discovers that children now learn mathematics by answering questions like: “If it takes four karsevaks to demolish one mosque, how many does it take to demolish 20?” But in South Africa he is glad to see that Hindus and Muslims fought together against apartheid. In the process he also confesses to the prejudices he had instinctively absorbed while growing up. He himself is secular though some of the old prejudices linger as “language”.

As part of the project, he met a BJP member in the US for lunch and seeing his shirtfront flecked with food, Kumar describes him as a “slightly tired contented old man who was perhaps getting ready to take an afternoon nap.” This slightly tame, comic façade could be misleading if five minutes ago, Mr Barotia had not talked about cutting the fingers of Muslims who dared write against the Hindus. When he heard that Kumar was married to a Muslim, he spat, “It’s okay. You fuck her. And you tell everyone that she is a Muslim, and that you keep fucking her! And through her, you keep fucking Islam.”

Despite this tirade, Kumar could not help feeling a certain “degree of tenderness” for this guy with whom he shared a common “language of memory”. One of his memories concerned a lizard. A boy in his school told him that the lizards were Muslim and the sac under their chins used to be beards. This is the story he told:

“During the riots that accompanied the Partition of India in 1947, the Muslims were running scared of the Hindus. If the Hindus found the Muslims, they would murder them. If the Hindus did not kill the Muslims first, the Muslims would instead butcher the Hindus with their swords. Or they would take the Hindus to the new country ... where the Hindus would be converted and become trapped forever. One day, the Hindus saw a bearded Muslim running away. They caught him and were about to chop off his head. The man was a coward. In order to save his life, he pointed with his beard towards the well where the other Muslims were hiding. Because of this act of treachery, that man was turned into a lizard with a sac under his chin. That is why when we Hindus looked at these lizards, they bob their heads as if they are pointing towards the well.”

This investigation about his newfound Muslim identity also led him to research Islamic terrorism after 9/11 in the US. What emerged from it is perhaps the most flawless book of his called A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb. This book is noteworthy for Kumar’s humanity, the equanimity of his emotions in the face of evil, and brilliant research.

It is a critique of post 9/11 art and its representation in fiction, non-fiction, cinema, and performance art. But the heart of the book is about the “small people”, mostly brown-skinned Muslims, who have been the targets of the US state surveillance apparatus against terrorism. Rather than joining the paranoid lynch mob after 9/11 and 26/11, Kumar keeps his head and humanity intact. In this he is following Graham Greene whom he quotes in the book, that “hate was only a lack of imagination”. Kumar works up his imagination even while watching a documentary on a taped telephone call between a young terrorist in the Taj and his handler back in Pakistan during the Mumbai attacks. He controls his “annihilating hatred” when he listens to the voice of the terrorist.

Kumar writes: “When being urged to quickly set fire to the curtains and carpets in the opulent Taj Hotel, he is more interested in describing to his superior the rooms that he says are large and lavish. It’s amazing, he says, the windows are huge here.” For Kumar, this criminal is a displaced provincial and he is caught in the drama of “the impoverished youth finding himself in the house of wealth”. Kumar continues, “He is using terrible violence to set fire to this palace of dreams but he is in a daze.”

In the book, Kumar gives a nuanced account of two small-time terrorists, Hemant Lakhani and Siraz, who were caught by the FBI with the help of informants for plotting acts of terror after 9/11. He reveals that these so-called terrorists are not exactly terrorists but “small fries” who are caught up in the labyrinth of surveillance. Through both these cases, it is evident that the real plotters of these terrorist acts are the state who connives with paid, needy informants to entrap these amateurs (who undoubtedly have a wavering morality).

Their ploy often feels parodic and comic. During the court trial of Lakhani, his lawyer claimed that he was merely a guy with a big mouth who boasted that he had deep pockets. It was very obvious from his small house in the suburbs of London and frayed clothes that he was not a big-time terrorist. He did not even know how a missile, which he was supposedly selling to the informant, operates. His attorney also compared Lakhani to the character of Willy Loman from Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. In the trial of Siraz, a taped conversation shows him dodging to the informant by saying that he would have ask for his mother’s permission before he could involve himself in any terrorist attack. The court rejects these facts and imprisons both of them. It was as if they were being convicted for being muddled and possessing dubious characters. The real argument, according to Kumar, was that they were guilty because they “had the immoral nature of someone who might be a terrorist”. From these “bunglers”, Kumar shifts his gaze towards the informants who, like the convicts, were mostly brown people with meagre resources. They were like doppelgängers to each other, both “men of small means, beset with difficulties, projecting himself on a grand stage”.

In an interview to Barnes and Nobles, Kumar said that the “ecology of terrorism” has emerged after 9/11. When he went for trials, he would see that almost everyone—from the terrorist, informants and translators to the junior defence lawyers—were brown people from India or Pakistan. He could not help feeling that “the war on terror is nothing if not a giant employment scheme for my people”. Kumar rejects this entire operation as a messy farce, a “comedy of manners set in the shadow on the War on Terror”. It was also reminiscent of the controversial Tehelka sting operation his journalist friend had conducted, “donning a ridiculous guise in Delhi to sell arms”, and had caught army officials and politicians accepting bribes on a spy camera. In both these cases all the “characters were amateurs, including…the State”.

From the global stage, Kumar returned to his hometown rats in his new book. Earlier he had fictionalised the playing dynamics of the city in the only work of fiction he has written called Home Products. The story shuttles between Delhi, Bombay and Patna, but it’s clear that the main area of action is Bihar. Kumar states in Bombay-London-New York that the move towards the hinterland by writers is also a way to understand how the new economy was taking root in the entire country.

Pankaj Mishra, the author of Butter Chicken in Ludhiana, said that small towns were “shedding their half apologetic-air” and are filled with a new aggression. Their triumph is evident in their “taste for strident politics, violent films, ostentatious architecture, lewd music … and overcooked food”. Almost all these elements are present in Home Products.

The story is about a journalist called Binod who comes to his home state Bihar to write a film script based on a report of a murdered pregnant woman who was having an affair with a local politician. This investigation is an entry point to his life and ruminations about the real characters of the novel: his father, the politician, his aunt and her enfant terrible son Rabinder. The dynamic between Binod and Rabinder and the unspooling of their respective destinies is at the core of the story.

Binod and Rabinder are counterparts: Binod is the genteel brother who always played safe, cleared all the exams, and had a regular job as a journalist. His life has a flat graph with very few upheavals (except a divorce), while Rabinder played truant and runs a cyber brothel in Patna. While the subtle tension between the two brothers unfolds, the story is lent its spice by themes of adultery, murder, madness, dance bars, and dirty politics. Ranbir is the volatile centre of most of these controversies. His life is thick with intrigue: he has an affair with a government officer’s wife, who is mysteriously murdered, and then goes to jail for running a cyber brothel. In the end, it is Rabinder’s dynamic personality that attracts the director, who makes him the producer of the film while the brooding, introspective Binod is sidelined as a mere scriptwriter.

The character of Binod has many autobiographical features: he loves George Orwell, he is a detached onlooker with “a romantic cultivation of sadness”, he is filled with anxiety about his work (which Kumar admits with a refreshing candour), he is the elsewhere rat. But by showing the worldly success of Rabinder, Kumar pays his homage to the leftover rats.