A look into the lives of an Indian household with all its perjudices and beautiful memories.


someone who simply sits there for so long must have a thousand wheels spinning in his head.

‘Sir – one story, many sides.’

Words after all are nothing by themselves. They burst into meaning only in the minds they’ve entered.

At times, I’m tempted to unburden myself to him. But then, what’s the point when he seems to know without being told?

the last strands of a relationship can snap from a single glance or a moment of silence.

He receives all the domestic privileges accorded to the earning male of the family.

On that day I became convinced that it is the words of women that deeply wound other women.

It’s an unwritten rule that all members come to the family’s aid when it is threatened. Anita had broken that rule.

‘It’s enough for a man to simply stand there and watch. It’s worse than shouting at her yourself. How could you all pounce on that woman without knowing a thing about her?

How was I to tell her that Chikkappa must be protected at all costs?

box and suitcase all came this way. As the conference approached, he’d recount to Amma the speculation in the company about that year’s gift. We once went nearly a year without replacing our pressure cooker because of an unfounded rumour about what was to be given in the conference.

This slipperiness was a source of some friction between her and Amma.

how was it even possible to forget these people? Now I see what they meant.

It’s true what they say – it’s not we who control money, it’s the money that controls us. When there’s only a little, it behaves meekly; when it grows, it becomes brash and has its way with us.

It seems an innocuous enough statement. An outsider may not be able to see its explosive power. But as someone who lives in this house, I know just how grave the consequences can be.

These three speak to themselves – that is the prelude, the shot fired in the air to challenge an adversary to battle. The idea is to enquire if the enemy is prepared and willing to fight. If there’s enthusiasm on the other side, a reply is heard. That too is aimed at no one in particular.

But then, it is the duty of the family to preserve my self-respect. I would be married one day, and I shouldn’t have to suffer the indignity of holding my hand out for money while my wife watched. So, a monthly deposit began to be made to my bank account.
men were incapable of seeing beyond the bodies of women.
Language communicates in terms of what is already known; it chokes up when asked to deal with the entirely unprecedented.

I raised her face and through her lips gained my first taste of her world.

Of course, those words could never mean to me all that they meant to her; nor would I ever utter them as naturally as she did. But she had shared with me this secret phrase that didn’t exist in any language, and I was now one of only five people in the world who knew it.

there’s a vast difference in the moral underpinnings of a business family and the household of a salaried teacher.

If anything, it was richer now for evoking a simpler time.