Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pretty vacant

This is a queerish kind of book whose point is not too clear. It chooses to invest heavily in lyricism, a kind of poetry of contradictions that never states the real cause of things. Take this passage towards the end of the book: “[Ba] told Bean you could never be afraid of your own blood; that you could have a yearning for someone long after they’d disappeared from your life, but you could also yearn for them before they were born: Javier her unborn child.

The Pleasure Seekers
Tishani Doshi;
Bloomsbury; Rs 499; pp 320 
Ba told her to recognise these two worlds as one; to be easy and light so when the moment came you’d be ready to plunge. You wouldn’t have to go stooping around the edge with no fizz fizz in your step.” I am not sure that this kind of blather works in a novel.

This is not even   magic realism. This is the story of Babo, a Gujarati boy from what used to be Madras, his Welsh wife Sian, his two daughters Mayuri and Beena a.k.a. Bean, his parents Prem Kumar and Trishala and his grandmother Ba, who lives in a village in Gujarat and can smell people and events over great distances.

Full review here Hindustan Times

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