Book Cover
Mai
Silently Mother
Paper Type: Book Print | Size:
Black and White
ISBN-10: 8193393503 | ISBN-13: 978-81-933935-0-5

 395

Behind the walls of a house in a North Indian town a whole world thrives—of the joint family, their attendants, their visitors. Three generations of women and their men live different strategies of adjustment and achievement to accommodate or challenge patriarchy. They seem to fit in recognised frames, but what are the subtle machinations behind the apparent stereotypes? It is that which the novel uncovers, in a tale told in deceptively simple terms, using smells, sounds, tastes and flavours, scenes and tiny signs, and incidents of a daily and ordinary existence to build, weave by weave, a rich and layered tapestry, saying always more than is apparent. At the centre is mai, the mother, seemingly weak and silent, but it is she who holds together the subtle patterns of relationships and agencies, and quietly carves out a life for herself as also for those around. Her New Age children are obsessed with rescuing her from the ‘prison’ and escaping themselves; but as the story unfolds, any simplistic notion of bondage and freedom goes for a toss. Profound stories of love and loss are lightly delivered.


Geetanjali Shree
Geetanjali Shree
Author
Geetanjali Shree writes novels and short stories in Hindi. Mai was her debut novel, this translation receiving the Sahitya Akademi award. Her much-acclaimed novels Tirohit and Khali jagah have also been translated into English as The Roof Beneath Her Feet and The Empty Space respectively. Her novel Hamara shahar us baras is considered an important intervention on the issue of communal relations in India, particularly in the aftermath of the demolition in Ayodhya. Her writings have been translated into multiple European and Indian languages and are a part of the syllabus in many universities across the world. Geetanjali has written an intellectual biography of Premchand in English. She is also involved with theatre in Delhi, mostly with the well-known group Vivadi, devising adventurous scripts, such as on Umrao Jan Ada, the courtesan from Lucknow and on Jaishankar Sundari, the male actor from Gujarat who played the female lead and was hugely popular. These plays have been performed widely in India and abroad.
Nita Kumar
Nita Kumar
Translator