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Fasting, Feasting

by Anita Desai

All the richness and poverty of both India and the USA are laid out in front of you. But where is comfort, satisfaction, happiness, success? Not in either place for Uma or her brother Arun. Can you find any of them? Do you want the fast or the feast?

Extract

A career. Leaving home. Living alone. These troubling, secret possibilities now entered Uma's mind - as Mama would have pointed out had she known - whenever Uma was idle. They were like seeds dropped on the stony, arid land that Uma inhabited. Sometimes, miraculously, they sprouted forth the idea: run away, escape. But Uma could not visualise escape in the form of a career. What was a career?

Parallels

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
The Bend in the River by V S Naipual
 

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