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

    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 »

    Elections 2017: Many uncertainties abound

    Over the last few elections, it has become clear that it is not possible for anyone to offer a meaningful prediction of the eventual outcome. The electorate is too large and diffuse, and the interplay of local and national factors too complex to be amenable to accurate forecasting. Neither the personal and direct experience of… Read more »

    Stamping out authority?

    A visit to a Post Office after many years is like opening a creaking door to one’s musty past and finding things pretty much as one last remembered them. Except for the crowds, of course. Among the yellowing displays of some wonderful old stamps and first day covers, one came across a circular advertising a… Read more »

    The inadequacy of power?

    Something seems to have changed about the way in which we understand power. Take Donald Trump. He has been elected to the most powerful position in the world, and it appears as if that too is not enough. Being the President of the USA carries with it an enormous amount of power, but from Trump’s… Read more »

    The terrace- A mouthful of sky?

    As the train hurtles past the interminable outskirts of Delhi, the geography falters and then fragments. Scale shrinks and life becomes a spray of composite humanity. Small plots, narrow houses, some without any plaster cladding, huddle together in animated proximity. People, shops, houses, rickshaws, cows, streets, garbage, electricity poles, and wires are a smudge of… Read more »

    2017: Democracy’s ground zero?2017: Democracy’s ground zero?

    2017 feels like a knock on the door in the dead of a dark night. There was no choice but to open the door, but one is filled with a sense of dread as to what exactly one has let in. Mornings and new beginnings are known to arouse hopefulness, but it is likely that… Read more »