ISBN: 978-0007360789 (Paperback)
Mohan is a contemplative man who has spent his life observing people from his seat as a letter-writer outside Bombay’s main post office, but his lack of engagement is creating a rift between him and his wife. At this delicate moment they are joined at their home is Saraswati Park by their nephew Ashish, a diffident, sexually uncertain 19-year-old who has to repeat his final year of college. As the novel unfolds, the lives of the three characters are thrown into relief by the comical frustrations of family life. When Lakshmi loses her only brother, she leaves Bombay for a relative’s home to mourn not only the death of a sibling but also the vital force of her marriage. Ashish, meanwhile, embarks upon an affair with a much richer boy in his college and, later, succumbs to the overtures of his private tutor.
As Mohan scribbles away in the margins of the sort of books he secretly hopes to produce one day, he worries about whether his wife will return, what will become of Ashish, if he himself will ever find his own voice and write from the margins about the centre of which he will never be a part.