A Mirror Greens In Spring

A Mirror Greens In Spring

Product ID: 22239

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Author: Selina Sen
Publisher: IndiaInk
Year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 305
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186939334


It is 1984, a year which marks the end of an era in New Delhi, a city simmering with ethnic strife during the anti-Sikh riots consequent to prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination. This cataclysmic event as the backdrop to the story serves to emphasize a climate of change and depicts the difference between two very diverse refugee cultures in Delhi, created upon the partition of India when the largest migration in history took place. In fact, issues of identity and displacement are woven as a distinct motif throughout the length of the book.

The story begins with the contrast between two sisters in an immigrant Bengali family. Chhobi, the elder, sensitive and intelligent, is forever trying to rein in beautiful, narcisstic Sonali. Other members of the family are Ma, their mother struggling with her loneliness after being widowed in her thirties and the burden of running the household; Dida their feisty grandmother whose indomitable spirit prods the family on during times of adversity; and Dadu, their grandfather, grappling with his memories of far better times in pre-partition Bengal. The day-to-day ordinariness of this family’s life is juxtaposed not only with the tension between the sisters but also between three generations co-existing under the same roof.

The suffering inflicted by the loss of homeland, even after more than three decades is depicted through Dadu’s dreams. He is a man perpetually homesick for his estates, irretrievably lost as borders are redrawn to form Bangladesh.

Sonny – rich, handsome and arrogant – enters Sonali’s life. As the son of immigrants from present-day Pakistan, he portrays the resilient and go-getting spirit of refugees from the Punjab. His family has no time to wallow in nostalgia but is obsessed with amassing great wealth, by any means, fair or foul. He later jilts Sonali in favour of an arranged marriage that is more of a business alliance. Sonali’s thwarted love affair sets her family off on a path of retribution which changes their lives, the way they view themselves and each other, forever.