Tuesday, February 12, 2008

With a Parsi tinge





"Family Matters" by Rohintan Mistry is a book I read at the recommendation of a friend, whose judgment I fortunately trust. I say fortunately because I adored his style of writing.

There is absolutely nothing climactic about the novel. Family Matters is a story about Parsi family living in modern Mumbai dealing with the day to day gravities of youth, age, death, duty and desire.

Only in his words the humdrum of daily life gets transformed. The best parts of the novel are the simple accounts of daily life breakfast time in an household, the children's jokes, family rituals etc. Here is one of those authors who does not just give you an insight into the lives of his characters but nudges you to laugh, weep, despair and live with them.



The novel opens with an account of old Nariman Choudhary's birthday party. Nariman is old and frail, constantly haunted by memories of his past. He lives in Chateau Felicity with his middle-aged step-children, Jal and Coomy. The family is visited by Nariman's daughter, Roxana, with her husband and their two young sons. It show cases the relationships in a family which though fragmented by history is bound together by mystery. The suspense of Nariman's apparently scandalous but in reality helpless and painful past is revealed through the book in bits and pieces, like random isolated pearls to collect before you can string them together. The prose slips in and out of different perspectives: sometimes we feel Nariman's pain, sometimes Roxana's concern or Jal's guilt. The novel begins with Nariman, but the final word goes to Jehangir - from the old to the young.

This novel traces the lives of many individuals and how they fit into each others life to weave a fabric that gives us the essence of life and the living, youth and its innocence and age and death.
In case you do plan to read it. I will recommend a corner with minimal intrusions for this one.

11 comments:

Mansi Trivedi said...

Very interesting. Will check it out for sure. Keep blogging

c e e d y said...

cool new looks

aay tamune mallum che ke aay bawa lok tadan ghela - aakho diwas dholya ma padi ne suta reh...:)

thanks for the review...

vitruvian said...

@mansi:
hey thanks...do tell me..if u read the book and like it..

@c e e d y:
lol...
yea..the template...it was due for a change from a long time...

Solitaire said...

I think I ought to check it out to get rid of the stereotypes that I have newly formed after living with a Parsi for many years!!

Keshi said...

Sounds good to me..

Keshi.

PoisOn CoAtEd ELiXir said...

the reason why i like this particular book is because everything and everyone is human. all have varied shades in their personality where the negative aspect of one does not turn him/her into a villain. reading through it, one tends to have a soft corner for all.
thats something which is most difficult to achieve-to be able to justify all.

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