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

    AAP: The draining of hope

    Hope can be a stubborn thing. In the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, hope can find a way to continue to believe in an idea that it holds dear. When challenged with unpalatable facts, hope uses a multitude of strategies to stay afloat. It discounts the magnitude of the evidence, re-calibrates its original… Read more »

    The unhealthy pursuit of health?

    It is a strange paradox that as the indicators of health in India improve, the experience of being healthy seems to be declining consistently. We live longer, we have access to better healthcare, certainly for those who can afford it, can overcome some dreaded diseases that were once considered untreatable, are much aware of things… Read more »

    Maggi: Is it really about health?

    It is not easy to make sense of the Maggi issue. Lab results that have come in from many states indicate the presence of MSG and a high level of lead in the product, but the results are not entirely unambiguous. Karnataka, for instance, has found the product to be meeting current standards and is… Read more »

    Of hungry angry progress

    On a city road, the smallest cars seem to have the most powerful engines, if the alacrity with which they zip between spaces real and imaginary and the ominousness with which they breathe down the fenders of other cars is any indication. Traffic on Indian roads puts messrs Higgledy and Piggledy to shame, as every… Read more »

    Rahul Gandhi & the political landscape

    Perhaps too much can be read into some actions. The return of Rahul Gandhi in a more energized form is news all right. But whether it is sign of a substantially different script for this enigmatic dynastic leader of the Congress is another question. He has done what any significant leader of the opposition should… Read more »

    Campaign is over, it’s time to talk governance

    When lots of people start telling us not to get disillusioned, chances are that they already are. To be fair, the problem isn’t so much that the Modi government is perceived not to have delivered, but that what it has delivered is nowhere near what was expected. To an extent, the level of expectation built… Read more »