Indian literature in English has a long run
history and it’s widely known as the Indo-Anglian Literature. It is the place
where we can witness all the wonderful happenings of Indian. It literally aids
in explaining the history of India and its people. When saying it as
Indo-Anglian we must be aware that it is different from Anglo-Indian. Indian
literature paved for many branches of writing for the Indian writers. This is
the base where every Indian author took the opportunity to introduce post
colonialism and all other essential genres of literary world.
Generally Language and Literature is the
place where many gates are opened for riots and seeking change. This concept is
reflected through the words of Mario Vargas Llosa, “Literature is dangerous: it awakens a rebellious attitude in us.” Using
literature to speak out the problems and depict the prevailed and prevailing
situations in their lives had become widely common.
Talking about the age of literature that the
author Kiran Desai belongs we are obliged to talk about the post colonial and
post modern part of the literature with the garnishing of Diaspora with the
help of the wonderful novel The
Inheritance of Loss. Kiran Desai beautifully brings both the concepts in
her novel which added an extra spice to the story. This is so because using the
all time cruelties into her work resulted in a complete genius of all time. The
post colonialism plays a major role in the description of life of the Indians.
India has a great deal of people with qualities to match the famous saying
“Unity in Diversity”, the questionable thing in this is that whether they stand
for people within them or not.
confusing thought that prolonged during the post colonial period is whether the
colonisation and its after effect did right to the people or not. This
disorientation prevailed because we Indians were not sure about the things
happened to us. We are stuck in a delusionary state in the long run of the
colonisation. This is when people started to register their views by turning
them into black and white. This opened the scope of the literature from which
it is known as Post Colonial Literature. All the sufferings and happenings were
enlisted in their works beautifully. These forms of literature took many shapes
to express the real depth of the very long twenty decades of colonisation in
India. Colonisation also gave us various scopes in the forms of language,
communication facilities and transportation.
The common language sealed up all the verbal
differences among Indians. It has become like an inseparable thing in lives of
the colonised people. The common language English has been used by the
literates way more than their own mother tongue. There are ardent examples in
Indian Literature that the language English concealed the bond between the
Indians. Despite the tortures they have faced by the colonisers they just
utilized the chance to connect themselves. So our post colonial writers took up
those chances to show all those happenings through their wonderful writings.
Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss is an evident example of the concept that memories
are portrayed wonderfully when it is enhanced with the elements of fiction.
Kiran Desai’s this particular work is claimed to be one of such recollection of
her life during the dwelling period in her motherland, India. She stated the
above information in the interview named Meet
the Author held in 2007. She also stated that she herself recognised the
fact that this book has turned out to be a recollection only during the go of
writing process. And she affirms that it is not an intentional one.
affirmations gave by Desai in that interview made us to doubt that the
protagonist Sai of our novel might be short form for Desai derived from the
last three letters of her second name. The protagonist Sai and Biju, the Cook’s
son, are the major concerns of our topic. Thus throwing the light on the young
adults of India this research paper is carried out. In this modern society the
minds of the children are very much affected that when they grow up and become
one among the civilian of the society they have to face copious problems. And
it is very perceptible that young adults of the society from ancient times till
the modern world are great sufferers. They are entrapped in the follies of the
society. Sai and Biju come under young adults and they help a lot in understanding
the state of affairs in the society through novel.
setting of the novel dates back to the early 1980s. So this particular setting
helped the author to explain the anomalies of Postcolonial India. While
considering the date of publication, The Inheritance
of Loss belongs to modern literature. This made Kiran Desai to chisel the
incidents in such a way that they support both the forms of literature, post
colonial and after effects of modernity, of Indian society. The influence of
the modernity affected many lives without their knowledge. But we are also
indebted for the developments bagged by us with the help of those moderns.
The learned people tries so hard to bring
their society to a higher level or into a developed one and for which they work
so hard, but the glitches of the past is still pulling down the people. We find
it very difficult to take in things and at the same time we refuse to leave bad
things behind. And this can be mentioned as one of the troubles both young and
grown people of the society are enforced to face. Everyone is running behind
something not knowing what they really want. Thus the concentration of this
research paper is happened to be the social entrapment of young adults in the society.
list of entrapments the youngsters have to face in this society is
perpetuating. When one problem is identified and tried to eradicate just like a
weed a new one arises. Nobody could find what is happening to the world. This
is not just the situation of India. Almost every developing country is under
such circumstances. The young adults are even subjected to the horrible things
like class discrimination and race discrimination. They are enforced to
encounter the troubles caused by them. This is not only meant for the ancient
times, the people are being the causalities of such issues even in this so
called modern society. Through The
Inheritance of Loss Kiran Desai tries to portray this evidently.
Beyond the lead roles she took steps to show
the condition through others like the robbers gang who barged in the judge’s
home in the first chapter of the novel. They range from seventeen years to
early twenties. This bunch of young adults hid themselves in the mask of
robbery to come out of the discriminations that Gorkhas face in Kalimpong.
These Gorkhas belong to a group of people from Nepal. They are treated very
lowly by the natives. This resulted in a raising revolt among the people of the
Kalimpong. “It was the Indian-Nepalese this time, fed up with being treated
like the minority in a place where they were the majority.” (Inheritance, 9)
The above quotation from the novel proves that there is a clash between minority
and majority groups. These Gorkhas were treated like minority but they are huge
in numbers. They were pestered a lot
which made them to revolt against the natives.
When there is a group of people there should
not be any discrimination within them. But in India knowingly or unknowingly it
has been a tradition to show discrimination. This discrimination dates back to
ancient India till now. But still no westernisation could help India to find a
way to eradicate it. People are totally deaf towards the cruelties that ruin
the life of many innocent people who are just human beings like them. The same
situation prevailed in Kalimpong during the early 1980s. This representation of
the problems of the Gorkhas gives a historical backdrop to the story. When a
person feels threatened to talk about such issues thinking that they may get into
trouble; Kiran Desai took a brave step to talk for them. This might be one of
the reasons for her success.
revolt the Gorkhas plunged in was named as The Gorkhaland Movement by them. The
reason they were persistent to revolt was every individual of the native had so
much of difference of opinions over them. For instance a line from the book
proves that “Budhoo? But he is Nepali. Who can trust him now? It’s always the
watchman in a case of robbery.” (Inheritance, 43) This is how they treat them.
It reminds us of the immigrants of the foreign countries who are made to face
the problems for entering. Dr. G. Chenna Reddy and V. Pawel in their paper on
this book in IJELLH, “The Theme of
Alienation in Kiran Desai’s The
Inheritance of Loss” says that “The author draws parallel between the
stories of Nepali immigrants in India and Indian immigrants in the States, all
struggling with questions of what it means to be cheap labour, with the
question of rights and identity.” (IJELLH, V-III, I-IX, Nov 2015 Pg. No. 102)
these people are deprived of their basic rights it is obvious that they revolt.
Only during this riot the likes and dislikes of the characters in the novel had
to face problems. Their struggles are reflected in the very first chapter of
“A great amount of warring betraying,
bartering had occurred; between Nepal, England, Tibet, India, Sikkim, Bhutan;
Darjeeling stolen from here, Kalimpong plucked from there—despite, ah,
despite the mist charging down like a dragon, dissolving, undoing, making
ridiculous the drawing of borders.” (Inheritance, 9)
Indians have an idea that it is a rights-reserved deed to
treat people the way they like and see them as their drudges. They totally
forget the fact that all are human beings and each and every soul has their own
rights. Class discrimination is one of the ineradicable warts on mother India’s
face that has been there as a result of the ideologies of so called upper class
people. The cook in this novel is an ardent example in this novel that was seen
so down by Sai’s grandfather.
search for identity is a camouflaged form of bane to postcolonial India. Indian
society and its system is a labyrinthine in all aspects especially after
Independence. The young adults are enmeshed in this society filled with
societal evils. After the influence of westerns, colonised people are very much
confused. The long run of colonisation blinded the native people’s real identity
and tradition. They are behind the foreign things, life style and money.
Following something frantically has become the habit of Indian people. We fail
to realize that trying to be others’ replica is absurd. A normal person has to
overcome tons and tons of troubles in his daily struggle for survival. When
survival is harder it gets severe when a person is happened to be in an alien
land. That person has to confront certain problems to come up in his life. Like
Marie Le Pen says, “Wild globalisation has benefited some, but it’s been a
catastrophe for most.”
dwelling in two worlds is clearly showed in The
Inheritance of Loss, Desai beautifully explained about it with the help of
the character Biju. His life in immigration and the problems he faced during
the stay is shown evidently. Kiran Desai says that “But immigration operated
independently of Police, the better, perhaps, to bake the morning bread, and
Biju fell, again and again, through the cracks in the system,” (Inheritance,
75). Sai also comes under this category as she dwells somewhere though her
physical life is in her grandfather’s house.
The feeling of non-belongingness is the major
reason of dwelling in two worlds. As Jhumpa Lahiri says “Language, identity, place, home: these are all of a
piece – just different elements of belonging and not-belonging.” When a
person is physically present somewhere and his mind is filled with the thoughts
of his motherland he is happened to be in two worlds. This would result in
Diasporic feeling, alienation and what not. The judge can also be enlisted to
this feeling. Though he has returned back to India he still wants things to be
of so westernised and posh.
Desai is a renowned Diasporic writer. She herself acknowledges that this is her
recollection of her memories. So this is an affirmed factor that this book
belongs to Diaspora Literature. Kiran Desai feels very happy for being recognised
as a Diaspora writer. And this is proved true through her words “The Indian
Diaspora is a wonderful place to write from and I am lucky to be a part of it.”
Diasporic Literature is a great part of not only English Literature but also
any other form of literatures. It is a kind of treasure to literary fields.
is an ardent agent that helps to enhance the nostalgic recollection of a
person. There are many writers whose origins are in India. To be more specific
her mother Anita Desai is also an example to this. There are few other writers like
Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sudha Murthy, and Preeti Shenoy who belongs to
the time as Kiran Desai. These Indian women are evident writers of the feelings
of the women. The missing of their nativity is very well reflected through
their works. She also has other contemporary writers like Amitav Gosh, Aravind Adiga
and Anita Nair.
Desai is the proud mother of Kiran Desai. Her intelligence is inherited within
Kiran Desai as it is. And they should feel proud of themselves as they are able
to work in the same period. Anita Desai is well known as the children’s author.
She is a famous novelist and short stories writer. Her works dwells like an
instrument to provoke thoughts among her readers. Anita Desai’s mother was a German and her
father was an Indian, thus her works’ often reflects about the fray of both the
cultures under a single roof. And it is evident that the book Clear Light of the day is believed to be mostly an autobiographical one. She
never failed to balance both family and her writing career equally.
She is a Fellow of the Royal
Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Girton
College, Cambridge and Clare Hall, Cambridge. And her works are great treasures
to English Literature. At present she works as the Emerita John E. Burchard
Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Among all
her notable awards a few examples are Benson Medal of Royal Society of
Literature in 2003, Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in the year 2007 and the great
Padma Bhushan Award in the year 2014. Anita Desai’s work ethics is reflected
through her words “I aim to tell the
truth about any subject, not a romance or fantasy, not avoid the truth.”
And her selected works are Diamond Dust and Other Stories (2000), the
Zigzag Way (2004) and the Artist of Disappearance (2011) which talks
about her mighty writing.
Roy is a renowned writer in the field of women writing in English. She is an Indian author, actress and
activist. Her well known book The God of Small
Things is the greatest evident for that. Her book The God of Small Things talks about the beauty of Kerala and the
lifestyle of its people wonderfully. The book will make the readers to feel the
beauty and the wonders of the state Kerala just through her descriptions.
Though her roots are from Mehalaya, she made this semi-autobiographical to
excel in the lens of a different place. This earned her even the 1998 Man
Booker Prize for Fiction.
She worked so hard for human rights. So Roy was honoured by awards like the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award in the year 2002, the Sydney
Peace Prize in 2004, and the Sahitya Akademi Award from the Indian Academy of
Letters in 2006. One of Arundhati Roy’s famous quotes is “Today, we seem to be
striving towards injustice, applauding it as though it’s a worthy dream, made
sacred by the caste system.”
Lahiri is a
specialist in talking about the lives of Indian-born Americans. This reflects
in Jhumpa Lahiri’s famous quote “I feel partly
American, but I have an ambiguous relation with both America and India, the
only two countries I really know. I never feel fully one way or the other.” Her
Diaspora works also reflect this factor clearly. Her short story Interpreter of Maladies was published on
the year 1999 and it paid her off with a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in the year
2000. She coloured her life by adding many
feathers to her hat by working very hard and dedicated. She was a member of the
President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and she was directly appointed
by US President Barrack Obama. Her famous works are The Namesake and The Lowland among
which the first one is made into a movie in the same name.
Sudha Murthy is an
Indian philanthropist. And she writes both in Kannada and in English. Apart
from her Alma matter she is obliged to write also. Her works and words express
many beautiful things. Sudha Murthy says that “Many
times there is no perfect solution for a given problem. No solution is also a
solution. Everything depends upon how you look at it. We make judgments on
others depending upon what we think of them.” She is so famous for giving valuable advices
to kids that can help the adults too. Her short stories can be categorised into
two, among which one suits for the children and the other one is to entertain
the adults. The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk
is one of her such great short stories that explains about the people who
managed to welcome their guest and tried to offer them the best they could do
despite their poverty.
Among her enormous list of awards two famous
and notable awards are Padma Shri award in 2006 and R. K. Narayana’s Award for
Literature in the same year. And she is considered to be the prolific fiction
writer. Her notable works in English are House
of Cards, the Day I Stopped Drinking Milk, How I Taught My Grandmother to Read,
Mahashweta, etc. and even more. Beyond all her accomplishments she is well
known for her helping with her husband’s works. Her savings helped her husband
for the foundation of Infosys.
Gosh is into historical fiction as well as other genres. He is known for his Ibis
Trilogy which consists of the books like Sea
of Poppies, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire. He is a great writer who has
the ability to bring the Sundarbans Island right into the minds of the readers
making them to feel as if they were there in his famous book The Hungry Tide. This book was published
in the year 2004. This book is a perfect example of his Diasporic thoughts. His
prior book The Glass Palace also
speaks a lot. His other genre is non-fiction and a notable book is In an Antique Land. The Great
Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable is his latest
book which was published in the year 2016.
His notable awards are Padma Shri award in
the year 2007, Sahitya Akademi and Ananda Puraskar award. He has his own
etiquettes in writing. And Amitav Gosh says that “If the charter of your
liberties entails death and despair for untold multitudes, then it is nothing
but a license for slaughter.”
Kiran Desai was born on the 3rd
of September 1971. Her birth place is Chandigarh. She was one of four children
of Anita Desai. As she lives in Brooklyn of New York, America she is recognised
as Indian-born American writer. Though she lives in America she spends part of
the year in India. Her childhood was well spent in Pune and Mumbai. She was
uprooted from her native land and she with her family moved to England where
they stayed for a year then they have moved to the United States. She did her graduation
in Bennington (Vt.) College in the year 1993. She persuaded one of her MFAs
from the Hollins University, in Roanoke, Virginia, and the other from the
Columbia University, of New York.
early displacement from her motherland made her a great Diaspora writer. She
was able to enjoy her native land only for a limited span of fourteen years.
But those years were the root cause for her marvellous ideas of her later works.
The inherited instincts of writing from the mother and the lingering memories
of childhood made her a successful person in her writing career. And dedication
towards her work also stands as an evidence of her zealousness. This has been
proved with her act when she left Columbia and stayed away from home for
several years to write her first novel Hullabaloo
in the Guava Orchard (1998).
The second book also made her to live a peripatetic
life just as she did for her first book. She travelled to India stayed in her
mother’s home to finish up the second book The
Inheritance of Loss which took nearly seven years for her to complete. Though
her mother is also a famous writer both of their lives and fame never crossed
and this is a great speciality. And this is the book which bagged her lot of
nominations and awards. Her slow and steady pace helped her a lot. She
published this book successfully in the year 2006.
This book gained her the fame of becoming the
young female writer to get the Booker Prize of the year 2007. It also won
Orange Prize for Fiction in the same year. Other notable awards are like the
National Book Critics’ Circle Fiction Award, British
Book Awards Decibel Writer of the Year, Kiryiama Pacific Rim Book Prize and
Vodafone Crossword Book Award. Thus all her accomplishments are very well reflected. And she is
very well known among her contemporaries. She has a good rap out with her
fellow writers and has a great respect for them.
The Inheritance of Loss is a great book that has to be read by everyone. It
speaks about many difficulties and realities of life. It is rare to speak
reality in fiction book and Kiran Desai is very well known for making that
impossible thing a possible one. She is capable of describing the human
cruelties and animosities very efficient in a fictional world. She used
wonderful characters to demonstrate her ideas in the novel The Inheritance of Loss. The hard work of seven years resulted in
one such great book that explains about the people of Kalimpong who lived
during the 80s. This is why the fiction has a historical backdrop to spice it