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

    Debate on paternity leave: Making haste slowly?

    The paternity leave debate sparked off by Maneka Gandhi’s statement that for most men that it would be a ‘holiday’ raises complex questions. The commentary that Gandhi’s statement has attracted has been largely negative, and she herself has subsequently softened her position, underlining the need for a more ‘sophisticated’ bill. Gandhi’s views on the question… Read more »

    Sport in India: A time to change the script?

    The crores we are showering on our Olympic heroes is a sign not of our regard for them, but of our utter lack of interest in sport. Now PV Sindhu deserves every accolade and every reward, material and otherwise that she gets. As do Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar. For their achievement goes way beyond… Read more »

    A new idea of money?

    In 6 months, our valuation went up from $5 million to $30 million, and in another 3 months it was $100 million”, a new age business whiz kid told an adoring audience at a conference recently. Speaker after speaker, told us similar stories of dizzying numbers, both gained and lost, as they narrated accounts of… Read more »

    Misruled by rules?

    There are reports that the prestigious Bombay Gymkhana is under sustained attack from the local bureaucracy because it apparently did not pass a resolution that gave senior IAS officers babus a right to permanent membership, even after retirement. Newspaper reports suggest that this act of defiance on the part of the club has unleashed a… Read more »

    The instinct trap?

    The practice of politics is often understood as being about painstaking calculation, labored alliance building and the clever use of power to grant and withhold favours in order to extract advantage. Complex caste equations, the understanding of ground level realities, the weighing of who needs to be backed against whom when – these are some… Read more »

    Playing with life?

    How valuable is life really? At one level, the human quest for extending life spans has reached a point where it has become conceivable to start talking about overcoming mortality. At another level, we see the growing and terrifying instances of people willing to die, some even for a cause that they have not really… Read more »