Sundarrajk's Weblog

Archive for the ‘Anita Desai’ Category

Fire on the MountainFire on the Mountain by Anita Desai
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Based in Kasauli the book revolves around he life of an old lady who is staying away from company as she feels she has endured enough company during her lifetime.
It looks like her life is going to be put in jeopardy due the arrival of her great granddaugther. She is very uncomfortable with the possibility but is in no position to refuse.
The child comes to stay with her. But the child so independent, in fact so aloof, that the old lady feels a little odd. The child is on her own through the day, running through the forest and shrubbery in the neighbourhood. She is just not interested in engaging with her great grandmother.
So much does the old lady feel odd, against her will, she initiates a discussion with her great granddaughter. She spins stories for her great granddaughter thinking that it would keep her entertained, but contrary to that the child seems to prefer to be alone. She even walks with the child to a nearby attraction which is again not relished by the child.
One day their tranquil is shattered by the arrival of a childhood friend of the old lady with a shrieking irritating voice and who has done badly in her life. This stirs back all the memory which the old woman has hidden in her head and has tried to wipe out by staying away from others and by spinning tall tales for her great granddaughter. The lady’s who is now working as a social activist for the government spends the afternoon with the lady and her great grandchild. The great grandchild manages to sneak off somewhere in between to her daily jaunts. The friend is too proud to ask for help and the pride stops her from accepting the help extended by the old lady. On her way back she is raped and killed by a man whom she has been trying to convince not get his girl child married to an old man.
The child sets fire to the forest and comes back happily back to her great grandmother and for the first time initiates a discussion by saying “Nani I set the mountain on fire”.
Not a great book. My last Anita Desai book.

View all my reviews

Cry, the PeacockCry, the Peacock by Anita Desai
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The book is about a lady who has been brought up by a doting father without being exposed to the realities of life. When she gets married and comes with her husband she is unable to adjust to what she considers cold shouldering by her husband.
Eventually she ends up killing her husband and ends up in an asylum
A thoroughly avoidable book.

View all my reviews

Baumgartner's BombayBaumgartner’s Bombay by Anita Desai
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Do not expect to find too much of Bombay in the book. It is more about Baumgartner than about Bombay. Bombay is incidental as Baumgartner is forced to settle down in this city.

The book covers the holocaust, the partition, and the poverty in India at a very high level through the eyes of an holocaust escapee Hugo Baumgartner.

Not a read for Indians who are grounded in reality of India. Not to say that the book does not portray realism, it does, but the depth is missing.

View all my reviews