Gods, Graves & Grandmother

Gods, Graves & Grandmother

Product ID: 7628

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Author: Namita Gokhale
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 240
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0141006994


This is a gripping and enthralling book that wears its many complexities lightly. It will continue to haunt its readers long after they have put it down.

From these great heights Gudiya's world plunges into the depths of almost complete penury when she arrives in Delhi with her ancient grandmother, Ammi, fleeing small-town scandal and disgrace. Just when all seems lost, Ammi works a miracle: a slab of green marble stolen from a building site, and five rounded pebbles from a sahib's garden, are transformed by the power of her singing voice into an inviolable place of worship.

From here on, Gudiya's life takes on an extraordinary momentum of its own. Ammi dies a small-time saint, Pandit Kailash Nath Shastri predicts a future of impossible luck, the irrepressible Phoolwati becomes an unlikely guardian, and the inhumanly handsome Kalki rides in on his white horse and steals her heart. As we follow the twists and turns of Gudiya's story, we see unfold before us the peculiar dance of chance and will that is human existence.

Before mother left, in a long-ago time, we had been very rich… My grandmother had been a great singer, a kothewali whose voice was more liquid and beautiful than Lata Mangeshkar's. Eleven nawabs and two Englishmen were besotted with love of her.


Gods, Graves and Grandmother is remarkable on two counts. First, its structure of a modern fable held aloft by the gauziest of irony. And second, its searching scan of life in the downwardly mobile class of the Indian metropolises..Gokhale exposes the humorous underbelly of merchandized religiosity.

-India Today

Gudiya’s picaresque adventures cover a cross-section of Indian society…the novel is filled with people of all sizes and shapes…Like the Pied Piper, Gokhale has them marching to her tune.

-The Statesman

(Namita Gokhale) brings considerable literary maturity into achieving this tour de force.

-Financial Express

Set in the backdrop of semi-urban Delhi, the book effectively moves between the everyday details of poverty, ignorance and illiteracy and the supernatural realm of the temple which forms the focal point of Gudiya’s life…A racy and engrossing book.