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 Kejriwal Revival?

    A few months back, in the wake of the crushing BJP victory in the national elections, Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP seemed to be fading. The body language of the AAP and its leaders reeked of defeat and despair. Its forays in MP and Haryana were resounding derision-worthy failures, and it faced a very real… Read more »

    The other new India?

    The label “New India’ is now political property. If on the one hand, it is a formulation created by the government to signal what it imagines to be the picture of assertive new citizens who take pride in their Hindu heritage, of late it is also the name given to the new strain of resistance… Read more »

    2020: On a Knife’s Edge?

    Talk about a cliff-hanger finish. 2019 has ended in turmoil. A host of questions and possibilities have been thrown by the events of this year, with variables multiplying as the year dragged its dying carcass to the finish line. How will the CAA/NRC/NPR issue pan out? Will the government will be able to ram its… Read more »

    A problem of solutions?

    What exactly is the problem that the Citizenship Amendment Act is solving?  The number of people that are currently seeking citizenship on grounds of religious persecution is extremely modest, not more than a few thousand. And the number protesting it is many times larger. Instead of debating the merits or otherwise of the legislation, what… Read more »

    Has justice been done?

    The law may or may not have been followed but has justice been done? Given the state of our judicial system today, is this the only way to deal effectively with a horrendous crime like rape? The killing of 4 alleged rapists-murderers in Hyderabad by means of an encounter has evoked deliriously enthusiastic reactions from… Read more »

    Maharashtra- The aftermath?

    The loss of power in Maharashtra is certainly a blow to the BJP, not the least because of the manner in which it happened. Having first decided to sit it out after the decision of the Shiv Sena to break a decades-old alliance, it later doubled down on a desperate, losing gambit that backfired in… Read more »