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Showing posts from January, 2016

The Space Between Us - Thrity Umrigar

A concept inherent in South Asian cultures is that of having house help. I see how this is also recreated in South Asian families living abroad where the house help’s tasks are generally limited to cleaning and maybe cooking. These wonderful beings help a family in managing their domesticities and are popularly referred to as ‘maids’ (I personally abhor the usage of the term ‘servants’). The male version of the maid also exists but it would be fair to say that it is more a female dominated area of work.
A popular misconception in the West is that only the rich and affluent have house help. However, this is not the case at all. A simple enough explanation for this is that South Asian cultures benefit from the strength of its populace and labour is more easily accessible and affordable. In fact, this arrangement can also be viewed as a parallel economy that contributes to the employment market in its own way. Now, the relationship shared between family members, specifically the ‘lady of…

Last Man In Tower - Aravind Adiga

I want to make a confession. Last Man In Tower is by far one of the best books I have read by an Indian author. The fact that I can personally relate to the theme of the book has of course made this book a prized treasure.
The book addresses the phenomenon of redevelopment projects that took Mumbai by storm some years ago and till date it is not uncommon to see the reconstruction of old, dilapidated buildings in the city. New buildings, modern facilities, appreciation of property value – What’s not to like? You ask. As we all know, with change comes uncertainty and when that change threatens to encroach upon our home, our very own personal haven, it is bound to create resistance which can take many forms and often lead to harmful consequences to those harbouring this state of mind.
In ‘Last Man in Tower’, Adiga effectively narrates the journey that individuals go through when faced with a redevelopment project of their own home. As is common knowledge, the most popular means of housing …