20 January, 2021

That Familiar Feeling

Does not tell us anything startingly new, but at least covers known ground in readable, even simplistic ways - a useful, honest, sincere, and unpretentious contribution

That Familiar Feeling
The Great Indian Family makes easy reading, because it does not pretend to be an academic book replete with footnotes and cross-references. The subject of the Indian family is certainly serious enough to merit an academic interrogation, but the fact that Gitanjali is not a sociologist by profession is I think all for the good, because I have little patience for books which pretend to be academic but say nothing new.

Gitanjali does not tell us anything startingly new either, but at least she covers known ground in readable, even simplistic ways. Her personal bias in favour of the institutions of family and home is apparent, and I agree with her. In the Preface she sums up both her personal predilection and the framework of her book: "In earlier times, you could turn to your family for help and it could not turn its back on you. The family was creche, university, nursing home, investment bank, all rolled into one—how far have we travelled from there? How is the urban middle-class family faring today? What are the problems of a dual career family? Is life easier...



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