tNo will is required to become the heir of loss…the
loss which had been the tradition, refusing to change, to give way to
happiness, and one learns to live with it, to be happy, accepting it as
not a loss, but something that is forever, inherently…a necessity.
Sai, the teenage orphan, who never experienced the luxury of parental
love, has to drop out of parental love, has to drop out of boarding
school to move to her grandfather, Jemubhai Patel’s house. The story
unfolds in the beautiful reaches of Kalimpong, revolving around their
lives, together with the house cook and his son, Biju. Her grandfather
doesn’t make Sai’s life any better through his cold blooded heart. He
was a father whom her mother never had. He had vacated her mother of
the love that her parents had for Sai.
The adventure of love begins for Sai, when Gyan, a Nepali, takes up the
responsibility of becoming her home tutor. Their love blossoms until
there rises an insurgency in the hills and the agitated Gorkhas restore
to violence to win the privileges that have been denied to them. Gyan
has to make a choice, which will decide Sai’s future.
Sai, still hopeful for a happy future, awaits Gyan. Jemubhai is losing
the continuous fight against the memories of his past life. Biju is
away abroad, struggling in the other world, heart still with his father
in India. They are different people belonging to different worlds. But
loss and hope tie the together in a weak but intact thread.
Kiran Desai brings to us a masterpiece, funny at times when
she delves into the hearts of the innocent post independence India;
passionate in her idea of love prevailing in the most unusual
situations, and hopeful that one day they will have a choice, the
life’s wand in their hands.