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 righteousness of hate?

    The recent incident involving an Uber driver deciding to take his passengers to the police station because they were coming from anti-CAA protest and were discussing the same in the vehicle has evoked widespread comment. It is an understandably scary prospect when individual citizens decide to don the role of vigilantes and sit in judgment… Read more »

    Victory of the gnat: Kejriwal’s return proves that a believable story, with evidence that substantiates it, is critical

    There is a fable in it somewhere. Like a pesky gnat that lives under the nose of a mighty emperor and takes delight in annoying him, Arvind Kejriwal is the one person who has the otherwise intimidating BJP’s number. No matter how hard the party tries, they simply cannot seem to get past him. At… Read more »

    The miracle called Test Cricket

    The debate over whether Test matches should be restricted to four days instead of five rages on. Interestingly, a majority of players, past and present have come out against the idea. They believe that the format is sacred and should not be tampered with. Cutting test matches by a day, the argument goes, would only… Read more »

    Of Politics & The Young

    This is the time for the young to focus on studies and make something of their lives. Not to get involved in politics and waste valuable time. These are distractions that are best avoided. It is so easy for the young to get manipulated by vested interests and become instruments of political parties, some of… Read more »

    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 »