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Small Days and Nights

by Tishani Doshi

A young Indian-Italian inherits a dilapidated villa near a beach in Tamil Nadu and has to take care of her sister who has Down syndrome. Quite a challenge for the hedonistic Grace. But she adapts quickly. The fishermen see her mainly as the rich outsider because Grace isn't always sympathetic. I must say she irritated me at times but in the end I sympathised with her because she genuinely loves her sister.

Extract

We are at Ma's apartment in Pondicherry. Every evening we walk along the beach, and for a few hours in the morning, we sort her belongings into boxes. Auntie Kavitha's grief is different from mine. She looks like a person demolished. She has no appetite for anything but whisky.
'lt doesn't make sense to distrust the past,' she tells me.
'Everything that happened, happened.'
'But you mean when she was taking all those overnight buses to Madras, she wasn't going to bridge tournaments?'
'Your mother was an average bridge player at best. Far too impatient.'
My grief is filled with anger because she has overwritten every memory with a kind of deception. There – young, beautiful mother, how could you keep the lie up for so long?

Parallels

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
The Journey by Indira Ganesan
 

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