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Saraswati Park

by Anjali Joseph

A middle class family, observing good manners and the niceties of suburban life grapple their way through feelings they can’t really share with anyone and certainly can’t articulate to each other. Unusually though, this particular family is Indian and living near Bombay. They live through their problems in imagined conversations and this is what draws you into their lives and makes you care about the outcome for all of them.

Extract

Lakshmi sat on. It was only five forty-five or so; she’d go home in some time and do the cooking just before they ate. Ashish would be on his way back now, or perhaps he’d already arrived, but she relinquished the thought of hurrying home to make him eat something. She had worried, at first, that he was unhappy living with them, or that he didn’t feel comfortable. He so often lurked in his own room. But then she recognised something in him: the pleasure in quietness, the curious interest in navigating his way through vast spaces of boredom. Anyway, he was quite capable in the kitchen, and if he wanted tea or a snack, knew how to help himself. His uncle would soon be home; the two of them would sit grunting at each other over sections of the newspaper or, as an adventure, make something to eat.

Parallels

The Immortals by Amit Chaudhuri
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
 

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