CASIRJ YEAR  Volume 3 Issue 3 ISSN – Clear Light of Day: From Alienation to Affirmation Dr. Bharti Tyagi D.J. College Baraut Anita Desai is . Editorial Reviews. Review. “A wonderful novel about silence and music, about the partition of a Clear Light of Day: A Novel - Kindle edition by Anita Desai. A Reading of Anita Desai's Clear Light of Day. It is no longer news that Indian novel in English has come of age. Anand's novel of ideas, Narayan's small-town .
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Clear Light of Day presents a story between pre- and-post independence about the history of an extended family and the tragedies they faced. It is within these. While their parents went to parties at Delhi's Roshanara Club, the children of the Das family brought themselves up, reading Byron, listening to the gramophone. A Reading of Anita Desai's Clear Light of Day It is no longer news that Indian novel in English has come of age. Anand's novel of ideas, Narayan's small-town .
Remember me on this computer. In both sisters' lives, un- happiness and boredom in their house are distinct memories, relieved only by the presence of kind and affectionate though perhaps not always the best neighbors; though Tara's life changed with her marriage and stay abroad. College Baraut Anita Desai is one of the best known contemporary women writers of Indian fiction in English. Do you know anyone who would secretly, sincerely in his innermost self, really prefer to return to childhood? By tanji hossain. None of the characters captured my interest or sympathy and I often found myself wondering when the chapter would end and never eager to continue reading. I used to think about it all and it is all exactly the same, whenever we come home.
We gradually get the story. Tara and her husband, Bakul, are on their regular three-yearly visit home from Wash- ington, and in Old Delhi they stay with Bim and Baba, elder sister and younger brother of Tara's, respectively. For Tara the Old Delhi house is full of memories of recent and remote past—the two decades since , and her childhood days before that.
Old jealousies between the two sisters come up again as they reflect on how they were earlier; Tara, quiet, of delicate feelings, and less confident; Bim, stronger, abler in school, and attractive.
But the intervening years have changed both in certain ways. Tension mounts as the silences grow longer and deeper in and around the house. Tara wonders how Bim can stay on in a shabby house, taking care of her retarded brother, Baba, and teaching history to young girls in a college. T h e family's "petrified" state both draws Tara in and repulses her enough to make her think again of fleeing to "that neat, sanitary, disinfected land in which she lived with Bakul" p.
The family's "petrified" state particularly becomes a subject of reflection and occasional discussion among its members because Bim refuses to attend Moyna's wedding Raja's eldest daughter , which is to take place in Hyderabad.
Bim holds it against Raja that he abandoned her and Baba after their parents' deaths; and that he also missed his true calling of being a poet, as he had earlier vowed to Bim, and merely became a fat, rich man. Bim herself, of course, has devoted her life to looking after others: Raja during his deadly illness in , the alcoholic Aunt Mira, the retarded brother, and everyone else who needed care including Hyder Ali Sahib's dog, Begum. In both sisters' lives, un- happiness and boredom in their house are distinct memories, relieved only by the presence of kind and affectionate though perhaps not always the best neighbors; though Tara's life changed with her marriage and stay abroad.
Their brother Raja's life was different from theirs even in Delhi, but it changed radically after he left. He had idealized Hyder Ali Sahib, the Muslim gentleman who lived across the street until the Summer of , and he moved to Hyderabad, inheriting Hyder Ali Sahib's property through marriage to Benazir, his father-in-law's only daughter. Cry, the Peacock London: Peter Owen, ; Voices in the City London: Vikas, ; Fire on the Mountain London: Heinemann and Penguin, Penguin, ; all page references to this edition are given in the text.
The three houses the Greek "oikos" that figure in the lives of these characters contain three distinctive life cycles and are set up as contrasts to one another: Over time, they all appear "empty" and cheerless.
Some of the people who then in Tara's younger years inhabited these houses are still there, though many have disap- peared, either by death or by moving to another place.
Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road T h e r e is always another one walking beside you Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman —But who is that on the other side of you? The passage from the last section of T.
Eliot's poem The Waste Land, a poem that, according to Eliot, was written as a necessity against a personal crisis, recurs towards the end of Section II in the novel, invoking Eliot's own note on the inspi- ration: She is a missing person whose presence is felt. Baba, the autistic brother, is physically there but his existence amounts to nothing—he has no thoughts, responses, or initiatives which may cohere in his own or others' lives; Raja has moved to Hyderabad and absented himself physically; the Das mother and father are dead Bim-and-Tara's parents —they were rarely at home and with the children even when they were living; Hyder Ali Sahib and his family no longer live in the house across the street; Tara herself is now an absence abroad, and now a presence in the Old Delhi home.
Yet, the novel is about the presence of the missing persons and their relations to those who actually reside in this place. For example, Raja lives in Hyderabad, but he is a main subject in Delhi; Aunt Mira is dead, but she presides over most things in Tara's, as well as Bim's, memories of the house, its past and present character and atmosphere.
The writing is elegant almost old-fashioned , but may seem slow and laborious. The entire story except of one or two scenes at a neighbor's house and one in a park happens in one house. One feels rather oppressively stuck in one location. The characters are well crafted.
The story focuses on family issues, specifically from the perspective of two very different sisters, Bim and Tara. While the elegance of the language makes this book enjoyable the story line, crafted with a considerable depth and insight, was not exactly my cup of tea. Wonderful book about familial relationships leaving the reader with a sense of satisfaction at chains loosened and conflicts resolved moving beyond the past.
Very good book dealing with family and values. Interesting portrayal of India and its culture. Good reading, good story. I enjoyed this book very much and would suggest it to anyone who wants to learn about India through Indian authors.
See all 23 reviews.
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