Roots and Shadows

Roots and Shadows - Shashi Deshpande Indu thinks herself as a revolutionary. Who hates to be under somebody’s surveillance, especially Akka’s (a domineering elderly lady) so she decides to escape from the cocoon which Akka has built so that she could live independently and make decisions of her life on her own. Subsequently she falls in love with Jayanth who is from a different caste and goes ahead and marries him without consulting her elders and now has job of her own as a journalist.

But does she really think she has made the right choice for herself? Or is she faking it to show people that she has? Though she shows herself as a revolutionary but is she really that? or is it all a sham?
These questions keeps pondering in her mind once she goes back to her roots- her hometown, after knowing she has been made the heiress of all the property by Akka before her death.

Indu cannot fathom the reason behind Akka’s decision which has not only shocked her but has shocked the whole family. Was Akka taking revenge on her for Indu’s past behavior or does Akka wanted to test Indu and make her realize why was the way she was? At times Indu feels like a confused soul some of her acts does not make sense. When she talks randomly about her past decision, her marriage, her family and her future it does seem like blabbering but it also makes a lot of sense and also makes us think . As always I loved Shashi Deshapnde’s insightful writing and her keen observation on human behavior.

Here are some of my favorite quotable lines from the book…

"Neither love nor happiness come to us for the asking. But they can speak up on us when we least expect them...."

“I have, I think, realized that it is not in me, the material of which revolutionaries are made. I no longer have any desire to mould people, to change them, to reform society. There is only one thing I know I can do.. I can write. And I yarn writing now…”

“That’s how it is. We flatter ourselves that we’ve escaped the compulsions of the past; but we’re still pinioned to it by little things.”

"It's this kind of living, I thought. Living too close, too entangled with one another. SO that if you move, you're bound to hurt someone else. And if they move, they hurt you. So many diverse pulls, so many conflicting feelings.And yet, surprisingly, it was a family. How long it could continue to be one.."