Perl's Menagerie


Perl Khanna

Violent, hot-headed software gal. Drop-dead good looks with a sweet left-hook that can drop you dead, if you try funny business. Has ambitions of taking over the world.


Hari Warriar

Mild-mannered philosopher-technocrat, also a useful linguist and struggling novelist. Perl’s partner-in-crime in her adventures. Usually allows himself to be talked into joining her on her misadventures although instinct and past-experience tells him they are plunging headlong into the bouillon and will like as not come to a sticky end.




Balwinder Sing Ujala aka Ballu. The luckless poet with a CGPA of 7.9 at IIT. Perl and Hari’s first employee. Gets a raw deal in many of their adventures.



Rudolf Schneider

Beer loving VP of R&D at Bayern Halbleiter, that German technology giant. Perl and Hari’s co-conspirator in many of their adventures.The projects he outsources to them invariably land them – and him – in the cabbagesoup. Or shall we say in the Knödelsuppe?


Shy Baba

The yoga guru with the coy dishabille – he has sworn not to expose his face in public until the TRP ratings of his Shy Yoga show on TV hits 6.5. Or at least, that is one of the theories to explain his mask. Besides masks, he has a fondness for beer – or consecrated barley water, as he prefers to call it – which he believes leads to enlightenment if consumed in sufficient quantity to the chanting of German beer-drinking songs.


Bobby Shankar

Shy Baba’s bitter rival, with the competing Art of Kidding spirituality program aired at the same time as Shy’s show. He believes that nirvana is best attained in the telling of bad jokes – many, many bad jokes. As many as it takes to achieve nirvana.


Nasty Shastry

Nauseating news editor and later acerbic food critic at the Daily BJ – the tabloid dedicated to the overthrow of good taste and common decency – good taste and common decency being the fig leaf of the effete capitalist bourgeois pig.


Shirt Pant

Shirtesh Pant aka Shirt Pant. Perl’s terrorized husband. Is convinced his partner in sickness and health isn’t good for his health. Suspects her of being a gorgon.



Much misunderstood bird-like hairdresser wife of Hari. He looks askance at her attempts to reform him and turn him into a finer, better husband, although Sita insists it is for his own good.


The gentlemanly buffalo who gets converted into a bomb. Appears first in Exploding Buffalo.



Harriet Matasumo – III aka Mata. The Japanese super-spy with a heart of gold – a gold heart being a useful thing to have when one is undergoing electro-shock torture at the hands of espionage rivals, gold being a good conductor of electricity. Oh, and she has ovaries of steel for the same purpose. Appears first in Exploding Buffalo.



Soulless and faceless head of IMRB - a Singapore based industrial espionage agency – Mata’s Boss. Appears first in Exploding Buffalo.


Faltoo Tamatar

Homicidal Tullu-French cook who believes Masala Dosa and Idly-Sambar belongs right up there with Coq Au Vin and Pâtéde Fois Gras in the pantheon of French cuisine. Has a propensity for murdering food critics who try and point out this isn’t necessarily so. Appears first in Exploding Buffalo.


The Headmaster

J.K. Iyer aka The Headmaster. In daytime headmaster at the New LightsBoys High School. At night dons a dark cape as head of the dreaded RATS terror group, dedicated to the overthrow of the Indian state and the establishment of Tamil matinee idol Rajni-Can as king. Appears first in Exploding Buffalo.


Gloria Kryptopoulous

Slap-happy Greek anthropologist who makes Bihar in India her home. Espouses Sitaram, who she is convinced is a Neanderthal – not just the average table-manners challenged hubby, but a real, living, breathing DNA-mapped Neanderthal. Appears first in Exploding Buffalo.



Marginal buffalo herder who likes to sit by the river Punpun of an evening and watch life go by and the sun go down. Until Gloria appropriates him as her research specimen cum husband. Appears first in Exploding Buffalo.


Daddu Dinesh Tyagi aka DDT: Head of the department of Anthropology at a leading Indian University and Gloria’slocal mentor – later bitter rival. Appears first in Neanderthal.


Shi Yi

Baby-faced sex-obsessed head of AARS – the Asian Anthropological Research Society in Singapore. Plays Gloria and DDT against each other, and outwits them both. Appears first in Neanderthal.



Sometime opera singer turned Lourdaise cow. Appears first in Space Cattle.


The B.Tels

Alien Beatles cover group and later inter-planetary travel agents. Appear first in Space Cattle.


G. Harrison.

The missing B.Tel. The search for G. Harrison occupies much of the story of Perl and the Murdered Milkmaker. Appears first – or shall we say disappears first – in Space Cattle.


P. McCartney

The loveable B.Tel


J. Lennon

The not-so-loveable B.Tel


R. Starr

Former drummer of the B.Tels. Currently president of the alien planet

 And Many, Many More...

I'll be adding more in the coming months.