Between the mad rush to work and home, I have had time to really sit back and think or to read. I have seen the landscape of the city change and change very aggressively, the past few years. I see the constructions happening everywhere, of apartments and departments. The city is very much my own, yet how much of a stranger I am!
“No matter where you go in the world, there is only one story: of youth, and loss, and yearning for redemption. So we tell the same story, over and over. Just the details are different.” And I say to myself, “how true!” These lines from Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry, gives the pulse of the novel. Based in Mumbai, it is about Nariman, the Parsi who couldn’t marry a non-parsi and his fights with the ghosts from the past, his step-daughter who couldn’t forgive him, his son-in-law who struggles to support his family, his daughter Roxana and her children and the reaction of each member of the family when Parkinson’s come calling and leaves him bedridden. It is sweet and poignant, as expected from the author, with detailed characterization. It is not as good as A fine Balance but much better than many of the well selling and may I add, award-winning books on NRIs suddenly getting nostalgic about dal tadka, cow dung, crows and pickles.