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

    A digital kind of change?

    This weekend this newspaper carried a report on the popularity of Youtube star Lily Singh known as Superwoman to her followers. With over 5 million subscribers to her video logs, which often are nothing more than her views about the things that surround her, she may be unknown to most readers of this newspaper, but… Read more »

    AAP: The real reality show?

    Incomprehension mixed with a deep sense of disappointment. That is what a significant number of AAP supporters and sympathisers have been feeling ever since a bizarre set of events over the last couple of weeks has been unleashed on them. Too much messiness has found its way into the public domain. Kejriwal’s attempts to woo… Read more »

    The issue, not the film

    Thanks to a documentary film, the conversation around rape and the issue of women’s safety has returned to the headlines. Regardless of how one feels about the merits or otherwise of the film, or indeed about whether the film should be banned, made compulsory viewing for all or its telecast deferred, what is clear is… Read more »

    The Budget beyond the economics

    For something that is understood by very few people, the Budget sure does get talked about an awful lot. It is the rock star among accounting events, with an air of make-or-break finality dangling over it before it actually occurs, and a sense of anti-climactic predictability that comes in its wake. Budget analyses are difficult… Read more »

    A scarcity of memory?

    In a study recently carried out by a website, the value of goods stocked at home in urban India that lay unused was pegged at over 56,000 crores. The study also confirmed that more Indians were selling and buying used goods than was the case in the past. In the past too, reselling old things… Read more »

    Congress: A time for revolt?

    The Congress party is going over a cliff in very slow motion, and though everyone knows what is going to happen, no one is lifting a finger to do anything about it. The memory of significance, along with a few remaining pockets of influence are all that remain, and those too are disappearing with every… Read more »