Author: Leila Seth
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0470049883
Figuring prominently are her early years of homelessness and struggle, her straying into law while in England with her husband Premo, and later practicing in Patna, Calcutta and Delhi; and her happy marriage of over fifty years, including the experience of bringing up three remarkable children: writer Vikram, peace activist Shantum and film-maker Aradhana.
With candor and wit, she tells of her taking up law studies because this could be conveniently combined with caring for her son and husband; of the difficulty she faced as a woman barrister in Calcutta in trying to find a senior to devil with; of her lighter moments as the sole woman judge on the otherwise all-male bench of the Delhi High Court. Also dwelt upon are her views regarding corruption, discrimination and delay in the legal system; some judgments dealing with education and with inter-personal and constitutional law; and her experiences as a member of the 15th Law Commission.
Intertwining family life with professional, Leila movingly describes the years after her father's premature death when as children they were obliged to live with friends. There are also delightful vignettes: Premo and her turning an old mansion into a splendid home in Patina, Vikram's writing of the novel A Suitable Boy, Shantum's ordination as a Buddhist teacher by Thich Nhat Hanh and Aradhana's marriage to Peter, an Austrian diplomat, and work as art director on films like Earth and water.
Intimate, intricate, charming and often amusing, On Balance presents a rich and heart-warming portrait of an exceptional woman, her family and her times.
A Word of Thanks
PART ONE: MY EARLY YEARS
My Mother's Tongue
Memories of Father and a Home
A Suitable Boy
PART TWO: FROM BAR TO BENCH
Mother in Law
Afraid of Bats