Book A Suitable Boy: A Novel (Modern Classics) by Vikram Seth Vikram Seth's novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both . Study of Young Society Reflected in Selected Novels of Vikram Seth, Upamanyu Chatterjee A quasi-historical novel, A Suitable Boy chronicles a saga of. Download Download A Suitable Boy: A Novel (Modern Classics) | PDF books PDF Online Download Here.
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PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have . Seth in his novel A Suitable Boy, in which the author deals with the debate A Suitable Boy. PDF | Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy assumes nation as an encompassing conceptual Narratives in the novel mark the realities of India with secular intent. help her find Lata "a suitable boy." Families form the backbone of the novel, as the story revolves around four deeply intertwined clans, three Hindu and one.
Lata did not mind living in the university dormitory. I'm feeling hungry. She loved reading. They walked towards the buffet table together, three-year- old and nineteen-year-old hand in hand. Malati's mother never saw a rupee of the proceeds. With these preliminaries we may proceed to the proof of the theorem. Malati loved music.
Malati's mother went into what seemed like an irreversible depression. The china and fine cutlery for western food was put away. Yet another was her father's younger brother. Then there was the young. He would contact property agents or other prospective buyers in the towns where the houses were located. As a girl of twelve or thirteen. Malati had had a lot to put up with: When Malati was asked by her mother for her views on the matter. She over-filled the unforgiving minute.
Perhaps in this case the neighbours were right. At the medical college in Brahmpur. No one came near the image she and her sisters had of their father.
He very soon fell madly in love with Malati. It was not as if she truly hated men.
The cousin came. He would happily have cheated them. He had something of a reputation as a cheat. He needed money to spend on the dancing girl. It was just that her standards were too high. Men fell for her at a rapid rate. Malati's mother wanted her to learn English. The remarks were unbearable and only diminished when. Malati's mother never saw a rupee of the proceeds. As the years passed. Young men would look up in fascination at the first floor of the house. They got the message soon enough.
If a tutor had to be called to the house of the six women. When this happened. Malati would ' fall ill every few months or so. If the girls wanted ice-cream as a special treat. Malati's mother was remarkable in that she wished her daughters to be independent. She loved reading. Malati fell in love!
I At the moment she was unattached. Because Malati had such remarkable eyes herself. She remained involved with the Socialist Party even when their affair ended. Though full of energy most of the time. Her elder sister. She wanted them. What's the matter. A dirty. Malati's mother made it clear to the girls that she would give them the best education possible.
Sometimes she would actually hide from people. When neighbours objected to the shamelessness of letting young girls go around by themselves in Agra. Then she had another rather unhappy love affair. Til never fall in love. Lata started to laugh. He had been on the point of begging.
I'm sure of it. Your mother will get you married off within a year. What are you thinking of? Do not pluck the flowers. Passers-by turned their heads as the tonga trotted past. One she kept. This rather annoyed Malati. Then Malati bought five sticks of flossy pink candy. For a few minutes they all ate their candy. Presumably they would return from the hills deeply in love.
I know you do from time to time. But -' She lapsed into silence. It was intolerable. One of her narcissi went into the horse's mane. Aparna was looking petrified and holding Varun's hand tightly.
And like an obedient little mouse. At the turnstile a ragged urchin looked longingly at them. The 4i tonga-wallah again began to sing of his shattered heart. I'm wondering whom you'll get married to. This time they all joined in. He left home suddenly for weeks on end without leaving money or instructions for the staff. Aparna's mother and grandmother were looking anxious.
Tiny though he was. Dr Kishen Chand Seth was an impossible man to live with. He had promised his daughter Rupa when Lata first came to study here that he would take very good care of her. But this had never happened. Far better for her studies. He overrode Rupa Mehra's writ with respect to her own children. You know what he's like.
Since it was from his grandfather that Arun had inherited his atrocious temper. You damned idiot. Dr Kishen Chand Seth was far too preoccupied either with bridge at the Subzipore Club or feuds with the likes of the Minister of Revenue or passion for his young wife Parvati to be capable of fulfilling any guardian-like role towards Lata. Mrs Rupa Mehra Lata did not mind living in the university dormitory.
He was thinking how satisfying it would be to feed his elder brother. At any rate. And my sister. He expected his home life to run on similar lines. But when they got back to Fran's house on the university campus. The crocodiles had had a liberating effect on Varun. Dr Kishen Chand Seth.
Given her straitened finances. I don't want to hear any excuses. The experiment had lasted a few months. Just after Raghubir Mehra had died.
Savita's engagement which Dr Kishen Chand Seth had helped arrange. There had been tears and yells and Dr Kishen Chand Seth had pounded the floor with his stick. Then Mrs Rupa Mehra had left. Mrs Rupa Mehra had tried. Lata too liked his decent. Since then things had jolted along. Perhaps she had not made enough effort. Savita's wedding which he had almost wrecked and from which he had wilfully absented himself: Lata's enrolment at Brahmpur University. But now at last she was going back to Brahmpur for a three-month stint at what she had begun to call her second home: The broad.
But family was family. Though she did not mention this in any of her letters for fear of enraging her daughter. Several months had now passed since Savita's wedding.
Lata had left the hostel and had gone to live with Savita and Pran. Malati visited Lata often. Reconciliation had been effected a year later in a renewed bout of weeping. The teenaged Arun had threatened to beat up his grandfather. Winter had gone and the pythons in the zoo had emerged from hibernation. Mrs Rupa Mehra wrote long letters to her daughters from Arun's flat in Calcutta. The marriage with Parvati which had shocked not just his family but Brahmpur at large because of the disparity of age.
Roses had replaced narcissi. He carried a carved Kashmiri cane which he used more for emphasis than for support. Mrs Rupa Mehra promised herself that she would make another attempt. His short. Mansoor hurried inside.
Savita had gone shopping. Pran was at the department. All this was brushed brusquely aside. Where is everyone? He drove to the university the next day in a fury and arrived at Pran Kapoor's house. Within a day or two of her arrival she would go to her father for advice. Are you dumb as well as half-witted? As the train puffed along towards Brahmpur. Mrs Rupa Mehra's good looks had been the gift of her mother.
It was three in the afternoon. Dr Seth was staring at an ashtray. Lata was attending a lecture on the Metaphysical Poets. She was resting. She entered the drawing room. That Rupa. What kind of daughter are you? Or coffee? Burri Memsahib. You heard me. Everyone was half- witted in this house. Mrs Rupa Mehra dressed hurriedly in a black and white cotton sari and emerged from her room. At once. Mansoor said. I have my nimbu pani made with salt. Was he trying to cheek him?
He was only sixteen. Did you think I thought it was whisky? None of his teachers during his five years at a village school had inspired in him such erratic terror as Burri Memsahib's crazy father. He noticed the expression on Dr Seth's face and stood hesitantly by the door. I have diabetes. Dr Seth took a sip and bellowed in fury- 'Scoundrel!
I'll make another glass. She wilted before him. Dr Kishen Chand Seth rapped his stick on the floor. Is it me you hate so much or your stepmother? Mrs Rupa Mehra found it very difficult to. Rupa Mehra waited for the answer. How many times have I told you that? Dr Kishen Chand Seth went on: Why are you staring at me like an owl? Usually Dr Seth had tea.
Mrs Rupa Mehra knew better than to protest. Though fastidious. He had quite a nice smile. She had told him so a minute ago. It is best to be on good terms with everyone. Her father had been lonely for three decades after her mother had died. Have a biscuit. Parvati was good to him and she supposed good for him. Mrs Rupa Mehra bowed her head. Mrs Rupa Mehra shook her head. Do you think so? A suitable boy must be found for Lata. What good did they think it did?
As an afterthought he added. Far too late. Raghubir's brothers and sisters had taken her to their heart in a manner both affecting and comforting to a sixteenyear-old bride. Her nose began to redden. Most women. A faded image now came before her eyes: There have been too many mismatched marriages in this family. Her father seemed even more full of surprises than usual. Parvati got married when she was in her thirties.
She must be nearly twenty. His comment about mismatched marriages injured the memory of two loved ghosts. Her husband's family was no more religious than it was evasive. If she was growing to be 'as religious as her mother' which she was not. Dr Seth paused to interpret the yes. She's very sweet. I hope I get a great-grandson this time. She's grown very at. Things had to be just so for her father. Then he said: If we had thought about it earlier and used our imaginations we could have captured Fran's younger brother and had a double wedding.
Meenakshi send their love. I mean my great-granddaughter. Is she preg I 49 nant? No one tells me anything. Everyone will be back soon. Mrs Rupa Mehra looked wistfully and worriedly from the doorway at her father's back. Where is everyone when I want them? Mrs Rupa Mehra knew. But now they say he's got engaged to that Banaras girl.
I can't remember his. Each morsel had to be chewed twenty-four times to aid digestion. Perhaps that is just as well. He clicked his tongue impatiently. When she was a child she had not been allowed to drink water with her meals. For a man so particular about.
This afternoon. Bureaucratic flowers among which he also classified marigolds. Mrs Rupa Mehra took a few moments to recover from her father's bracing company.
She could not break her fast with grain. Arun was the only one in the family who could defy his grandfather and get away with it. This noble machine.
She took out a small pair of scissors from the recesses of her great black handbag. Arun on a visit during his vacation from St George's had taken it for a catastrophic joyride. As his daughter tremblingly watched. It had given him something to think about. As he went through the kitchen to get the bicycle key and the shopping bag. He had banned them at the Prince of Wales Medical College as long as he had wielded supreme power there. Mrs Rupa Mehra glanced in a cursory manner over her piles of old New Year cards before returning to the birthday roses.
Suddenly realizing how hungry she was. As Dr Kishen Chand Seth drove off. He swiftly gulped it down. Red roses. Apples and grapes and roses in a basket. With one swipe of his Kashmiri walking-stick he lopped off the head of a yellow canna. This would not do for Parvati. In fact she enjoyed the creative challenge of making them. Three silver stars were parted from their fellows and pasted with the help of borrowed glue. The fourth corner. But now Mrs Rupa Mehra paused. She turned to the card illustrated with grapes and apples.
Postponing the decision of illustration. The scissors poised. The rose-and-pewter card contained the following lines: May the gladness you have scattered Along life's shining way And the little deeds of kindness That are yours from day to day And the happiness you've showered On others all life through Return to swell your blessings In this birthday hour for you.
Her stepmother. It was very rarely that Mrs Rupa Mehra bought a card for anyone. For cakes and candles too. Scraps of cardboard. She could not afford cards. Mrs Rupa Mehra decided. The habit of necessary thrift had sunk deep into her mind. Mrs Rupa Mehra now looked for assistance in building up a rhyming text for her card.
The golden numerals were put aside. It's not a standard greeting For just one joyful day But a wish that's meant to cover Life's bright and shining way To wish you all the special things That mean the most to you So that this year and every year Your fondest dreams come true.
Mrs Rupa Mehra's handwriting was very small and well-formed. To renew their love anew. Nor did the lines commit her to any deep protestation of affection for her father's second wife. Who had sent her this card? Queenie and Pussy Kapadia. She got out her black and gold Mont Blanc fountain pen. A day for sveet reflection Along life's shining way.
Mrs Rupa Mehra instinctively felt. And a day for all to tell you: Have the wonderfullest day.
The puppy yapped an unrhymed and therefore unusable text. This showed promise but there was something wrong with the fourth line.
The very word was like a knell. Parvati might very well deserve hugs and kisses but Mrs Rupa Mehra was incapable of giving them to her. At the same time the greeting was not accusably distant. Life's shining way. Raghubir's present to her when Arun was born. The dog. They were fluffy and unemotional. He looked mournful. She asked Mansoor for a cup of tea. Dearest Baoji. They did not get the chance to be there. Now came the heartbreaking part: Fair or dark. The sheep perhaps.
Before she sealed the envelope Mrs Rupa Mehra got out a small writing pad. The first three couplets were therefore laid out with as much white space in between as would not appear too obvious.
I have recovered from my journey and remain. Mrs Rupa Mehra was a vegetarian. It looked a little cramped now. Words cannot express how much happiness it gave me to see you yesterday. Pran and Savita and Lata were very disappointed. Rupa The house was quiet. A good khatri boy would be best of course. Mrs Rupa Mehra decided that she could not bear to part with any of them. She now wished to fill as much space as possible with the rhymed message so that she would not have to inscribe more than a few words in her own right to supplement the verse.
Which of the roses would have to be transplanted? After some thought. She did not mind parting with them. About the radiologist. The roses in the foreground of the old card were preserved for future use. Your everloving daughter. Now I only pray for you to get well soon and keep good health wherever you are and have no more trouble with your back so that you can play golf again which you are so fond of.
If it be God's will we will meet again very soon. Meenakshi knows best. The ladies in my Ladies' Reserve compartment were very friendly and we played rummy and three-two-five and had a good chat.
Whenever I travel I remember our saloon days with your Daddy. I was very sad and upset in Calcutta as we did not have much time to spend at the station together due to the traffic on Strand and Howrah Bridge and you having to leave before the train left because Meenakshi wanted you home early.
Your grandfather visited yesterday and could have given him some medical advice but unfortunately only I was at home.
Please give him my love and tell him to study hard in the i good traditions of his father. I love you lots and wish you all the happiness and success you well deserve. I thought maybe the preparations for the party could have been postponed by ten minutes but it was not to be. Love and kisses to darling Aparna.
You don't know how very much you are in my thoughts - much more than words can say. She unfolded a green inland letter form. Such is life one doesn't often get the things one wants. If you had been there you would have scolded me. Better late than sorry. I am suffering some pain in my foot but that is expected. I think that he is having some difficulty with his department but he does not like to talk about it. By the way it is the birthday of your step-grandmother next week. The journey passed peacefully and as planned.
Anyway whatever it all was the net result was that we didn't have long at the station and tears rolled down my cheeks due to disappointment. I had the set of cards that Varun gave me for my last birthday in my bag. Your Daddy would have been so proud to see you in Bentsen and Pryce.
My dear Varun also had to go back because he came in your car to see me off. One of the ladies knew the Miss Pal we used to visit in Darjeeling. I hope you are feeling much better and the pain in your back as well as the toothache is much less. Pran is making me go for a test at the university clinic tomorrow morning. I could see how busy you were with work.
I know you do not mean to be harsh. Another covenanted boy from a good family. She is quite afraid of your comments. Here the inland letter form ended. It is quite safe as far as the dhobi-ghat near the university. Now that the college year is almost 57 over Lata will have time. Now Arun mine.
Unfortunately Pran cannot afford a car on his lecturer's salary and the transport situation is not good. Has Meenakshi had Daddy's gold medals set yet? I like the idea of a neck- pendant for one and the lid of a little cardamom-container for the other.
I am trying very hard though believe me to rise above all this. Soon it will be April and I am afraid I will again be very depressed and lonely at heart because that month will bring back memories of your father's illness and death as if they happened only the other day and it is eight long years that have gone by and so much has happened under the bridge in this period.
I am going to write to Mr Gaur's daughter Kalpana in Delhi. I may have many faults but I think I am a loving mother. Anyway space is short so my darling Arun I will end now. I know there are thousands who have had and are having much more to suffer but to every human being one's own sufferings seem the most and I am still very much human and have not risen very much above the usual feelings of sorrow and disappointments.
I take a bus or tonga to go here and there and sometimes I walk. That way you can read what is written on both sides of the medal. As you know. I will.
Also I think it is time for you to help in the matter. Do not worry at all about me. Yours everloving. You have always been like a daughter to me so I will speak from the heart. You know how worried I have been about Lata this last year or so.
Ma Fearing that her pen might run out during the course of her next letter. Now the time has come to get Lata well settled. Dearest Kalpana. Whenever I come to Delhi which is sadly not often of late I feel happy when I am with you. Varun is too young to help and is quite unsteady also. Arun should shoulder some responsibility in the matter but you know how it is. Lots and lots of love to you and to Varun and a big hug and lots of kisses to my little sweetheart Aparna.
Parker's Quink Royal Washable Blue - effectively separated from the other contents of the handbag by several layers of rags and cellophane. A bottle of glue she habitually carried had once leaked from its slit rubber cap with disastrous consequences.
Here she went on to write on the non-adhesive flap: After I have written to Kalpana I will play a game of patience with Varun's cards. Mrs Rupa Mehra took out another inland letter form.
Not that love is always an unmixed blessing. I know how you feel about early marriage after what happened with your engagement. After a while she took out the pack of playing cards from her bag. She fished out a stamp from her bag. All is well but 59 the heat is already very delapidating and I am dreading April-May-June.
I was worried to know she had not been well. I am in good health and my blood sugar is fine. I hope it is all resolved now.
Lata and I can come to Delhi to look into things? I only mention this to mention it. When Mansoor came in to take away the tea and to do the accounts. I have taken your J advice and had new glasses made and can read and H write without strain. Ma Mrs Rupa Mehra looked over her letter and her signature. H Yours ever. Maybe in October in the Divali holidays. Lata sometimes comes up with the idea that she? Please write soonest to this address. Do please say what you think? How is your dear father?
I am writing from Brahmpur where I am staying with Savita and Pran. Then she closed her eyes and sat perfectly still for a few minutes. V Ma Mrs Rupa Mehra m p. Divali would be better than New Year for us to come to Delhi.
I will be here? It was a warm afternoon. Many of them resented the University and Allied Bookshop for its entrenched.
Yashwant and Balwant. The Imperial Book Depot was run by two brothers. These teachers were happy to ensure that books they needed for their courses would be readily available to their students. This activity. They had the best stock in town.
If a book was not available in the shop. On the way. Malati headed straight for the novels. Lata went for poetry. As they passed the Imperial Book Depot. Twice a week an impoverished university student was paid to sort new arrivals onto the designated shelves.
Each wandered off to her favourite shelves and subjects. Whenever she opened a scientific book and saw whole paragraphs of incomprehensible words and symbols. After classes. And since the bookshop prided itself on its academic as well as general stock. Though it was a couple of miles away from the university proper it had a greater following among students and teachers than the University and Allied Bookshop.
Lata and Malati. It was a Penguin: Contemporary Verse. And this was how a young man. She could not resist glancing at the cover of his book. This annoyed her and she did not look up. With these preliminaries we may proceed to the proof of the theorem.
She smiled to herself now. She read the paragraph again. She began to flip through a volume of Tennyson. She should have written to him more often to bolster his courage. He was pleasantly startled.
What exactly it was that pleased her in these sentences she did not know. Her mind strayed to Varun and his mathematical studies. But she could not concentrate on it.
Lata felt that his eyes were on her from time to time. It was at the insistence of Malati. She picked up a random book and read a random paragraph: It follows from De Moivre's formula that z? Lata frowned at him and looked down at the page again. The tall young man. She hoped that her brief words to him the day after the wedding had done him some good.
The words were assured. Still holding the book. We also recall that r. Before she could glance down again. He now looked up. Then, realizing that the young man was referring to the mathematics book she had picked randomly off the shelf, she said, 'Is it? He teaches maths at the university. Lata looked around to see if Malati was listening. But Malati was intent on her browsing in the front of the shop. Nor was anyone else eavesdropping; the shop was not busy at this time of year - or this time of day.
The young man looked a little downcast before he rallied and confided, genially: I'm a history student myself. Lata was amazed at his determination and, looking straight at him, said, 'I must go now.
My friend is waiting for me. This appeared to contradict his determined, bold behaviour in speaking to an unknown, unintroduced, girl in a bookshop. She was about to go to the front of the shop when he added quickly, with a nervous smile, 'In that case, may I ask you your name? He just came up to me and began a conversation. Hurry up. Let's go.
I'm feeling hungry. And thirsty. It's hot in here. The man at the counter was looking at Lata and Malati with the energetic friendliness he showered on regular customers.
The little finger of his left hand was searching for wax in the crevices of his ear. He shook his head with reproving benevolence and said in Hindi to Malati:. Twelve annas plus one rupee four annas makes two rupees altogether. I should not allow this. You are like daughters to me. We are sacrificing our examination results at the altar of your prosperity,' said Malati. He and his brother extended terms of easy credit to many students. When asked whether this wasn't bad for business, they would reply that they had never lost money trusting anyone who bought books.
And, certainly, they were doing very well for themselves. They reminded Lata of the priests of a well-endowed temple. The reverence with which the brothers treated their books supported the analogy. Or monosyllables. Don't add chillies to boiled potatoes. Lata did not think this was worth responding to either.
Lata made a wry face at her friend, but she was, to her own surprise, quite enjoying her description. Malati was astonished at Lata's ineptness. If you're so keen on him, why don't you go back to the Imperial Book Depot and ask him his name? Like you, he has no compunctions about talking to anyone. Trust my five-hundredfold experience.
Visions of her mother's disapproval floated across her mind. Lata remembered the young man's temporary nervousness when she had looked straight at him. WHILE his mother-in-law was playing patience and his sister-in-law was fending off Malati's leading questions, Dr Pran Kapoor, that first-class husband and son-in-law, was battling with the departmental problems he was reticent about burdening his family with.
Pran, though a calm man by and large, and a kind man, regarded the head of the English Department, Professor Mishra, with a loathing that made him almost ill. Professor O. Mishra was a huge, pale, oily hulk, political and manipulative to the very depths of his being. The four members of the syllabus committee of the English Department were seated this afternoon around an oval table in the staff room. It was an unusually warm day. His lips were sweetly pursed and he was saying in his genial, high- pitched voice, 'Dr Kapoor, your point is well taken, but I think that we will need a little convincing.
The point was the inclusion of James Joyce on the syllabus for the paper on Modern British Literature. Pran Kapoor had been pressing this on the syllabus committee for two terms - ever since he had been appointed a member - and at last the committee had decided to agree whether to consider it.
Why, Pran wondered, did he dislike Professor Mishra so intensely? Although Pran had been appointed to his lectureship five years ago under the headship of his predecessor, Professor Mishra, as a senior member of the department, must have had a say in hiring him. When he first came to the department, Professor Mishra had gone out of his way to be gracious to him, even inviting him to tea at his house.
Mrs Mishra was a small, busy, worried woman, and Pran had liked her. But despite Professor Mishra's open-armed avuncularity, his Falstaffian bulk and charm,. Pran had never been able to understand why people loved power, but he accepted it as a fact of life.
His own father, for instance, was greatly attracted by it: The headaches, the overwork, the responsibility, the lack of control over one's own time, the complete absence of opportunity to contemplate the world from a calm vantage point: Perhaps it was true to say that Mahesh Kapoor had contemplated the world sufficiently long from the calm vantage point of his cell in a prison in British India, and now required what he had in fact acquired: It was almost as if father and son had exchanged between themselves the second and third stages of the accepted Hindu scheme of life: Pran, however, whether he liked it or not, was what the scriptures would call a householder.
He enjoyed Savita's company, he basked in her warmth and care and beauty, he looked forward to the birth of their child. He then placed his huge white hands. Pran did not care about titular prestige. My main argument is quite simple. Excitement disturbed his breathing. He believed that he deserved the 68 job. I am sure.
He had studied patience. But there is no Joyce. This was the simple logic of it. These two writers -' 'Wouldn't it be better.
A students to read in order for them to obtain a proper understanding of Modern British Literature. You have read my note on the subject'. We will take up Lawrence at our session next month - before we adjourn for the summer vacation. Dr Kapoor. Dr Narayanan was about to say something when Professor Mishra pointed out: His experience of the recurrent asthmatic illness that had afflicted him since childhood had made him calm.
Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this. No Downloads. Views Total views. Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Book Details Author: Vikram Seth Pages: Paperback Brand: Description Vikram Seth's novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs.
Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find -- through love or through exacting maternal appraisal -- a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves.
A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.
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