Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 3 March 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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The Ties of Kinship in Rohinton Mistry's Novels

C. Bharathi, M.A., M.Phil.

An Insider

Rohinton Mistry was born in Bombay in 1952, immigrated to Canada in 1975 and was employed in a Toronto bank. He began writing stories in 1983. His Tales from Firozsha Baag describes the daily lives of the Bombay apartment complex. Hope prevails in these stories, as Mistry's careful and compassionately drawn characters survive and work through difficult circumstances toward a brighter future. His first short story fetched him a Hart House Prize for fiction.

Rohinton Mistry is an insider to Tales from Firozsha Baag, Bombay and his vignettes are naturally authentic. Ironically perhaps he is able to achieve this authenticity as he has distanced himself by emigrating to Canada so that he can produce the effect of an insider /outsider to a scene, every detail of which is fetched and engraved in his mind. Remembering, re- enacting, re-creating that place-time-people with accuracy, understanding, and insight is the vision of Rohinton Mistry. In a manner of speaking, this is a "comedy" of manners and Firozsha Baag is Mistry's "Malgudi".

An Unending Journey

Mistry's first novel, Such a Long Journey, creates a vivid picture of Indian family life and culture. The novel is set in Bombay, During Indira Gandhi's period, when India went war over with Pakistan what was later to become Bangladesh. This is the political context for the unfortunate events that disrupt the personal lives of the kind hearted Parsi man, Gustad Noble, and his family and friends. Mistry skillfully parallels public events involving Indira Gandhi with the misfortune of the novel's principal characters.

Gustad, his wife Dilnavaz, their two sons Sohrab and Darius and daughter Roshan live in the Parsi residential colony of Khodadad Building in Bombay. Gustad is the grandson of a prosperous furniture dealer, a lover of books and tasteful living. Gustad nurtures a daydream of building a book case, in collaboration with his son Sohrab, to house his decimated collection of books. His father's goodness and compassion inform all of Gustad's actions and relationships which constitute the novel.

A Measured Balance?

Mistry's second novel is A Fine Balance, set in India in the mid-1990's at a time when the government has declared a state of internal emergency. The story focuses on the lives of four unlikely people who find themselves living in the same humble flat in the city: a widow (Dina) whose refusal to marry has left her struggling to earn a living as a seamstress; two tailors (Ishvar and Omprakash), who come to the city searching for employment and a student (Maneck) from a small hamlet in the Himalayan foothills, whose father has sent him to attend college. Mistry's descriptive, layered account of the personal lives of these characters, as they are influenced by the country's political turmoil, makes for an engrossing novel of epic stature.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

The Linguistics of Newspaper Advertising in Nigeria | Women in Advertisements | Case-Assignment Under Government in Modern Literary Arabic | Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Very Young Learners: A Case from Turkey | Association of Self Fashioning and Circumstances in Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin | A Moral Lesson, Amoral Lesion - Sharon Pollock's The Komagata Maru Incident | Pariksha: Test by Prem Chand | Treatment of City in Nayantara Sahgal's Storm in Chandigarh | Phrasal Stress in Telugu | Stress Among ELT Teachers: A Study of Performance Evaluation from a Private Secondary School in Haryana | Willa Cather’s Portrayal of the Pioneer Virtues in Alexandra Bergson with Reference to O Pioneers! | Man-Woman Relationship in Nayantara Sahgal's Mistaken Identity | Classroom Management and Quality Control - An Action Research | Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha - A Dualist Spiritual Journey | Impact of Dramatics on Composition Skills of Secondary School English Language Learners in Pakistan | Narrative Technique, Language and Style in R. K. Narayan's Works | Diasporic Crisis of Dual Identity in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake | To Teach or Not to Teach Grammar isn't the Question Any Longer - A Case for Consciousness-Raising Tasks | Cognitive Flexibility in Children with Learning Disability | Coda Deletion in Yemeni Tihami Dialect (YTD)- Autosegmental Analysis | The Enigmatic Maya in Anita Desai's
Cry, The Peacock
| Developing an English Curriculum for a Premedical Program | The Ties of Kinship in Rohinton Mistry's Novels | Indian English: A Linguistic Reality | The Unpredictability of the Sonority of English Words | Women's Representation in Polity: A Need to Enhance Their Participation | Nandhini Oza's Concern for the Tribal Welfare in "The Dam Shall Not Be Built" | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF MARCH 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of March 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

C. Bharathi M.A., M.Phil.
KSR College of Engineering
Tamil Nadu, India

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