It’s been more than a year since my last blog post on Memory of Water. My excuse for this silence is well, I had a baby girl on 12 May 2014!
On my last day at work, my wonderful colleagues at Belgravia Books gave me a pile of books that promised to make the wait for baby more bearable and less boring. Well, baby took it’s time and in between cooking and freezing, packing and re packing, going swimming (going floating really) I started a big fat novel called A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.
At 600 plus pages and a particularly small font, the novel symbolised my resignation that baby was officially overdue. There would be long days ahead of me.
Without giving much away, the novel is set in India in the late seventies during the period known as The Emergency. As usual, I knew nothing of this chaotic episode in India’s history but the great triumph of the novel are the characters. On one hand Mistry gives a heart breaking insight to life in Bombay’s slums, and on the other depicts the never ending struggles of the middle class to remain there. The clashes between rural and urban life are also a key element on the development of the characters in the story.
Half way into the book, Paloma was born. In the few moments of peace and quiet in hospital I found myself wondering about what was in store for my characters. In particular, the tailors and aunty Dina. They felt like family and in a surreal way I was worried about them.
Back at home and in between naps, I managed to finish the novel. It took me 3 months but every page was worth it. I had the best of both worlds, a sleeping baby and a good book.