Western Lane by  Chetna Maroo

Western Lane

Chetna Maroo

Deceptively simple, this short novel doesn’t need prior knowledge of the game of squash. The game highlights how this British Pakistani family is dealing with their collective grief, and we watch their emotions unfold through small gestures, overheard conversations and familial obligations, hiding their heartbreak. A great deal is revealed in the silence between them. I was thinking of Gopi and her sisters long after I finished reading.


I had asked him if he remembered Ma and again I tried to remember, but all I could see were insignificant things. The height of her. Her arms on the arms of her chair, bent at the elbows. The dust that blackened the soles of her feet.

'I’m going to go up,' I said.

Pa turned his head, not to me, but to the TV.  Sometimes, when Qamar Zaman played, his shots were so perfect and unexpected that they could make you forget whatever you had been thinking.

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