Piety and religious devotion run alongside addiction and bigotry in a Mumbai family. Told from multiple view points, The Flat on Malabar Hill pits traditional values against modern ways in an ethnic novel which spans two continents and three decades. In this family, two sons provide devout mother Shanti and morally upright father Vinod their greatest joy and deepest anguish. Kishore is handsome, brilliant, and an MIT graduate. His Americanized wife, Anjali, has spent years in the U.S. and struggles to adjust to Mumbai. The younger son Dev plays drums at nightclubs and shares drugs with his idle rich friends. When he wants to marry an uneducated, low-caste, Anglo-Indian night-club singer, Vinod threatens to disown him. Years later, Vinod has bypass surgery and Shanti is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Kishore, a member of the sandwich generation, uproots his family from Seattle, where he works for Microsoft, and moves them into the Malabar Hill flat, which his father deeds over to him. Anjali begins to redecorate, but each brush stroke erases Shanti’s and Vinod’s memories. Shanti’s mind continues to fade, and Vinod feels powerless to help her. He makes a momentous decision, leaving a painful legacy for the family.
In this book of Kallay you get a telescopic view of a Mumbai family blanketed in tradition – spiraling toward urban cosmopolitanism… whether that’s good or bad ..is for you to read and judge yourself. The characters are quiet engaging and well developed and they as well as the story conveys a very believable portrait of the city as well as it’s society. Three generations of an Indian family that, for three decades, faces experiences in life that most readers will find they can relate to. The three generations are not confined to Mumbai only, some travels to America to stay for a while which adds the multiculturalism that flourishes and adds it’s own complexity to the story. Through all the disappointment, personality differences and different societal values we , readers get to love or hate the characters and experience them..the elder son Kishore, the madness of trying to reconcile the views of his American-reared wife and his rebel younger brother along with the stately traditions of his elderly parents.”The Flat On Malabar Hills” can be read by all “generations” of readers.
Thanks to Paula@AuthorsMarketingInc. for the review copy.