25 September, 2020

Mother’s Not Home

A controlled, subtle tale of how a core of secrecy in a family secretes lasting sadness

Mother’s Not Home

A mother’s death opens up a can of worms for Rono and his brothers Sujoy—Bochka and Chotku as their mother calls them—in her last letter to Ronojoy. The letter rev­eals the secret behind why her marriage to their father Subir suddenly became a Cold War zone after Sujoy’s birth, resulting in their fat­her’s suicide, a gruesome hanging that Rono discovered when he came home from school. The uncles, aunts and grandmothers and even the boy’s ayah were unable to factor in effective damage control. Mukherjee puts together the INS and outs of a Bengali family in Delhi, two brothers, Subir’s marriage to the vivacious Mala and an attractive younger brother called Apurva. Tolstoy wrote that unhappy families are unique, unlike happy ones. Mukherjee delves into the roots of this particular family’s problems. Ronojoy lives alone, with a house in Mukteswar and an apartment in Delhi, recovering from clinical dep­ression; Sujoy is almost an alcoho­lic and the happiness of his wife and son is threatened.

At the heart of it is...



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