- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: RHI (1 August 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8184000138
- ISBN-13: 978-8184000139
- Package Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In Custody Paperback – 1 Aug 2012
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About the Author
Anita Desai is one of India s foremost writers. She has authored sixteen works of fiction, including Clear Light of Day (1980), In Custody (1984), and Fasting, Feasting (1999) - all shortlisted for the Booker Prize as well as Baumgartner s Bombay (1988). nnA Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London, the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, Girton College and Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, and most recently the Sahitya Akademi in India, Anita Desai has been awarded The Alberto Moravia Prize for Literature and the Padma Shri. Born in Mussoorie to a German mother and a Bengali father, she was educated in Delhi and currently divides her time between the US and Mexico.
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The next part of the story and almost all the book is about accomplishing this daunting task. Meeting Nur seems only the start as Deven cannot even imagine the present dilapidated state in which Nur is living. If Deven manages to get rid of the crowding sycophants, he still gets interrupted by Nur’s dramatic and second wife. Else he manages to plonk himself unwittingly into the domestic wars of Nur’s harem.
It is quite easy to identify with Deven’s frustration rising from the current situation and his inability to deal with the different characters who are almost thrust upon him. However at times, the entire situation appears outright comical. Personally I have no idea about the original emotions that were present in Desai’s mind when she described the different scenes of encounter between Nur and Deven. In reality, the rare spouts of poetry and knowledge drowned by the never-ending sessions of food and drink, as well as Deven’s utter dismay at the poet’s state of life and affairs, incorporated more laughter than sympathy, within myself.
Somehow this story and the protagonist’s fate reminds me of “The Rainmaker” by John Grisham. Of course Deven’s character is a far cry from the newbie lawyer, Rudy Baylor. The lazy tone of the book almost mirrors the life at Nur’s abode but every moment one tends to tire of the pace, the interest again arises as Deven comes across some new but fallible method of achieving success. This book takes you back to the ancient life of peace and calm in northern India which also helps us in slow realization of the dilemma of the custodian. A good book but not for the impatient ones.
The film based on this book - Muhafiz (In Custody) - conveys the milieu of Urdu literature and the decadence surrounding it in a more beautiful, delicate way, while retaining the languorous tone of the book.
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