In “The Death of Vishnu”, Manil Suri uses the word SHRIMATI* which means “wife” in Hindu. This word is not valid in Scrabble, but the word ISARITHM, which is made of the same letters, is.
Another interesting word used by the author and which is not valid in Scrabble is NAMAZ*(a ritual prayer practiced by Muslims). Even more interesting is the fact that if you read this word backwards you get the valid word ZAMAN (a large ornamental tropical American tree).
JAMUN* (an evergreen tropical tree) is not valid either, but UNJAM (to free from jamming) is.
LADDOOS* (Indian and Pakistani sweets) is another nonvalid word that has an anagram: SOLDADO (soldier).
CHAMELI* (jasmine) cannot be found in The Collins Scrabble Dictionary but it does have a very nice anagram: LECHAIM (a traditional Jewish toast), which I strongly recommend to the “lords of the board”.
Another “phony” with a valid anagram is TULSI* (known as holy basil in English). Its valid anagram is SLUIT (a narrow water channel).
Manil Suri also uses the word PATAKAS* (firecrackers). Note that the singular form PATAKA (a storehouse on stilts) is playable in Scrabble, while PATAKAS* is not.