16 January, 2021

Of Age And Merry Wisdom

Thirteen tales of life's lengthening shadows

Of Age And Merry Wisdom
IF you don't wish to dwindle into that sentimental Yeatsian figure, "old and gray and nodding by the fire," please grab this book. Here you will find a feisty woman at 65, ready to drive across the desert suitably attired in sola topee, long kurta and burkha; another at 69 whose sense of the theatrical ensures that she won't be abandoned at the Mahakumbh but will choose her mode of wilful departure, and yet others whose stories roll out of the pages as affirmations of aging. Replacing the traditional ouch and grouch about passing years, you discover another motto: "One life to live. I don't feel not young..."

For a slim book of 13 short stories (parodying the unlucky number?), Nisha da Cunha packs in a tremendous amount of narrative texture and memorable people. Experience, remembrance, introspection are the stuff of age but it is a new voice in Indian English writing that elderly women can laugh with irreverence at marriage, sexuality, social skirmishes, female friendships and all the wonderful little pieces that make up life's larger design. Many a tale opens literally with...



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