Clear Light Of Day
While their parents went to parties at Delhi’s Roshanara Club, the children of the Das family brought themselves up, reading Byron, listening to the gramophone, and watching over sad, alcoholic Mira masi. Many years later, the youngest, Tara—now a mother of two—has returned from America to the scene of her unusual, lonesome childhood.
Here, as always, is her sister Bim, doggedly single college-lecturer and caretaker of all. In her presence, Tara sinks into the blissful torpor of home, at once her dreamy old self but careful as ever around her older sister. For at the heart of this reunion are numerous tensions: Tara feels the persistent guilt of having, like the others, abandoned Bim; their autistic brother Baba is increasingly unquiet; and Bim has not spoken to their other brother, Raja, for years and refuses to go to his daughter’s wedding.
Clear Light of Day is vintage Anita Desai, a novel as wonderfully contemplative as a cup of afternoon tea.