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

    Obscured by media?

    If one were to predict the outcome of the elections on the basis of reports in mainstream media, there would appear to be no contest. A few months ago, the picture seemed to be blurred, but the narrative seems to have changed in the last few weeks. Post-Pulwama, the triumphal din that populates our television… Read more »

    TikTok: Leave them kids alone

    TikTok has survived its legal challenge and continues to engage the rapt attention of millions of young Indians. This is a platform that needs to be understood, for its improbable influence, its potential cultural effect, as well for the kind of anxieties that it is clearly evoking. The idea of a platform that allows people… Read more »

    Jet: Memories of Another Day

    Brands come and go, and certainly airline brands have come and gone with predictable frequency, but the impending demise of Jet Airways feels like a loss. Its birth was significant, not just for the sector, but in helping reshape India’s self-image when it came to its ability to deliver a certain level of quality. For… Read more »

    The religion card?

    The BJP’s official Twitter handle recently tweeted a quote from Amit Shah’s speech which explicitly declared that if the party came back to power, it would implement the Citizenship bill for the entire country and would act against all infiltrators who were not Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist. This is about as clear a statement as… Read more »

    BJP: Turning intensity into numbers?

    As the respective campaigns of the major political parties gather steam, it does appear that at the level of the overall narrative, the BJP is comfortably ahead of its rivals. Post- Pulawama, it has been able to shed its some of the tentativeness that had begun to creep into its campaign, and is pushing ahead… Read more »

    When in doubt, vote against

    There are many voters who have already decided who they are going to vote for in the forthcoming elections. For those who have made up their minds to vote for the BJP, the reasons might be many. A strong belief in the leadership of Narendra Modi, a feeling that Hindus need to come together or… Read more »