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 Ayodhya dilemma?

    The Ayodhya issue is now on the front burner. Statements from various Sangh parivar leaders questioning the Supreme Court’s decision to defer hearings till January are striking a combative note. Yogi Adityanath’s declaration about building a massive Ram statue is a clear attempt to drum up public sentiment on the issue, as is his decision… Read more »

    The Lure of Teen Patti?

    Come Diwali time, particularly in North India, the ‘taash parties’ get underway with a good degree of seriousness. For some not immediately comprehensible reason, gambling is considered auspicious at this time of the year, and this cultural licence is utilised with a vengeance as friends and families sit down together and gamble. The dominant mode… Read more »

    The anatomy of disenchantment?

    Barring the most committed supporters of this government (and this is not a small number), the general feeling, including reportedly within BJP circles, is that the party will not do as well in the next elections as it did last time around. Time will tell, of course, if this fairly commonly held view turns out… Read more »

    #MeToo as social regulation?

    There are many things remarkable about the #MeToo movement in India. That so many courageous women came out into the open and shared their trauma. That they managed to break down the defences of the powerful and the well-insulated to impose some consequences for their actions. That for once, the divisions of ideology, so corrosive… Read more »

    The technologies not invented

    What if the undetectable bomb was invented? What if we could read each other’s minds? What if we could see through clothes? None of these technologies is beyond the realms of possibility. Indeed, in some form, all of these are already available, admittedly not widely nor in a practically usable form. In each of these… Read more »

    The pleasures of chocolate

    Come festival time, and the boxes of gifted goodies start piling up. Dry fruits and various local mithais have always been the staple, but in the last few years, some new entrants have found their way into this hallowed category. None is more remarkable than chocolate, which is now routinely classified as a naturalized mithai… Read more »