Home

Mother Pious Lady: Harper Collins India, 380 pages, Rs399

Mother Pious Lady

Making sense of Everyday India

by Santosh Desai

A new India is visibly emerging from within the folds of its many pasts. This new India needs to be seen with new eyes, free from the baggage of yesterdays characterizations. This is exactly what Santosh Desai, one of India’s best-known social commentators, does in this warm, affectionate and deliciously witty look at the changing urban Indian middle class.

Read More About the Book

“This is a rare and captivating book, wise and witty, on the inner lives of middle class Indians. Desai both enlightens and entertains.”

Sudhir Kakar

  • Book Reviews

    The Hindu : Literary Review

    We are like this only ANVAR ALIKHAN A collection of delightful essays on India, and Indian-ness. Mother Pious Lady, Santosh Desai, HarperCollins, p. 380, Rs. 399. What is it that defines our Indian-ness? What is it, exactly, that unites us — variously Punjabi, Malayali, Gujarati, Bengali or whatever — into a single nation-state? A difficult… Read more »

    Ahmedabad Mirror Review

    Indefinable middle class Market researchers attempt to ‘crack’ this inscrutable constituency of an India whose consumption potential can redefine the economic world order By Rita Kothari Posted On Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 02:36:20 AM Those of us who have grown up in the India of the seventies and eighties would know what it is… Read more »

    Deccan Herald Review

    Many days in the life of middle-class India MEERA RAJENDRAN Mother Pious Lady: making sense of everyday india Santosh Desai. Mother Pious Lady, Making Sense of Everyday India, provides a fantastic insight into the daily life of the middle-class Indian. ‘Where Do We Come From’, the first section, a collection of pieces on our ‘Indian’… Read more »

    Amazon US Review

    A cheat-sheet for dealing with Gen-X Indians (several variants of the truth exist), June 28, 2010 By S.Yogendra  This is an amusing yet thought-provoking, insightful yet confounding, and relentlessly introspective, with hints of self-flagellation, book. The title is a nod to the specialised language used in the very specialised Indian area of matrimonial ads that… Read more »

    Mail Today Review

    Beyond the Age of Paisa Vasool By Shiv Visvanathan Desai traces India’s move from asocialist republic of scarcity to astate of bounty The study of popular culture as a genre has produced some wonderfully creative writers. One thinks of Ashis Nandy, Patricia Uberoi and Vijay Pershad. Probably the most playful of them is Santosh Desai…. Read more »

    And Then There Was Ma

    A 30-year survey of the urban Indian charts our ‘progress’ from the days of Chitrahaar to the present Raja Menon   Articles strung together into a book are generally avoidable but Santosh Desai has put together his weekly ‘City City Bang Bang’ columns into a hilarious chronicle of urban India, and the way we Indians… Read more »

  • Recent Columns

    The mystery of the Invisible Wave?

    24 hours ago, most political commentators agreed that it was too close to call, although the BJP was in pole position. If there was one certainty it was that there was no wave. There were a few notable voices, particularly towards the end that gave the election to the BJP, but very few, including those… Read more »

    The distrust of business?

    What exactly is the direction that Narendra Modi’s economic policies are taking? A low murmur of concern is doing the rounds amongst his supporters, as they view his more recent moves with some trepidation. Demonetisation, a move cast in the mould of Indira Gandhi’s early actions, followed by a budget that gives tax breaks to… Read more »

    Learning to learn?

    “If it needed education to use a pen, an angootha chhaap can operate a computer today”, said the animated young man in Kolkata. He was referring to his facility with a mobile phone and the doors that it opened for him by the mere twiddling of his thumbs. As part of a study examining the… Read more »

    The Virat Kohli paradox

    Virat Kohli is in the form of his life, having  scored double centuries in three consecutive series and beaten a record held by Sir Donald Bradman and it feels like just another day at the office for him. He is, ‘from another planet’ as Michael Vaughan tweeted, as he carries on with his incredible run… Read more »

    The re-birth of the Ambassador?

    The selling of the Ambassador brand to Peugeot is an eyebrow raiser. Why would anyone want to revive a car that is deservedly dead and in the minds of many, took far too long in its death sequence a la a Hindi film hero in the 70s? Clearly, Peugeot has no interest in the car… Read more »

    Freedom from ownership?

    To own things was the source of the greatest joy as well as being a mark of achievement. Ghar basana, the idea of setting up home, was the painstaking accumulation of objects that gave stability and meaning to life. One’s place in the world got cemented by virtue of ownership. Owning things did nothing more than… Read more »