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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Review of "The Age of Shiva" Durable Link to this BLOG
First a confession: I didn't really read the book. I heard the book - ably narrated by Josephine Bailey (2008, Tantor Media, 13 CDs, 16 Hours)

Trust a mathematician (the author Manil Suri is a professor of mathematics) to decipher the complex love-hate relationships of the Hindu Joint Family.

I didn't quite get the title of the book -- perhaps the author wanted something to go with his previous work "The Death of Vishnu" -- I kept on expecting some kind of senseless destruction, but it's not that. Some have suggested that it explores the relationship of Parvati and Ganesh, if so it should have been titled "The Age of Parvati", which would have been more apt.

Here's a mock cover I designed for the book, featuring a often recurring theme in the novel (child bringing the feeding mother to emotional and physical climax as it suckles).

This is an intensely woman-centric novel written by a man. It is a beautiful work.

I didn't know the author was a man till after I was finished with the book. The delicate feelings of an Indian woman are brought out in remarkable detail -- I am reminded of depiction of Kunti and Draupadi in Bhyrappa's Parva.

This is a book especially for my generation (the forty somethings who have lived through the Emergency) . I identified each of the well developed characters with someone I know. The maturity, intelligence of Meera the narrator draws the reader into the contemporary history of India and the very fundamental ideas  and roles of men and women in India. The plot takes dramatic turns with simplest of events, with Meera our heroine's fate changing completely.

It is a rather lengthy novel. But I highly recommend it to experience the struggles of women in India. It doesn't glorify the Indian mother like Shyamchi Aai or Grihabhanga, but rather puts into words the dilemmas of modern Indian woman.


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, February 12, 2010
Last Modified: 2/13/2010 8:38:35 PM

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