Do you know anyone who would — secretly, sincerely, in his innermost self — really prefer to return to childhood ?
The book is divided into 4 parts. The first part and the last part is present and the middle two were of past.
The story is of 4 siblings. Bimla, Tara, Raja and Baba (special care).
When Tara comes back to India, she finds Bim living a very low life. Bim was the eldest of the one and she has to take care of the others after her parent’s death. While doing so, she forgets herself.
She is holding grudges against her brother and Tara too because they all had left her. Tara went aboard and Raja goes to Lucknow. Remain the Bim with the alcoholic aunt and a special care brother Baba.
All of them fed on her blood– it must have been good blood, sweet and nourishing. Now when they were full, they rose in swarms, humming away, turning their backs upon her.
I felt sad for the Bim. She was so ambitious, smart and wanted to do a lot of things and she ends up with a small teaching job in a college. On the other hand, Tara, who only wanted to marry, got a way out easily and builds up a social life. Raja, also manage to find a good house and a purpose.
Bim, because she was too busy in taking care of her sister and brothers does not manage to live up to her extent.
I feel proud when I read books like this and the author is Indian.
The lazy writing style is my favorite kind and this book has laziest starting I have ever read. And the end is saddest just because of the language.
The book ends on the tone of realization, Bim realizing that her love for her family members is not unconditional, but it has flowed.
Although it was shadowy and dark, Bim could see as well as by the clear light of day that she felt only love and yearning for them all, and if there were hurts, these gashes in her side that bled, then it was only because her love was imperfect and did not encompass them thoroughly enough, and because it had flaws and inadequacies and did not extend to all equally.
Never ever Anita Desai manipulates emotions like now writers are doing, it is the power of her writing that evokes so many feelings.
The poetic plus lazy prose is all you need to read a book of broken families, relations and love.
The room rang with her voice, then with silence. In the shaded darkness, silence had the quality of a looming dragon. It seemed to roar and the roar to reverberate, to dominate. To escape from it would require a burst of recklessness, even cruelty
As you read further and get to the last chapter, you realize that how strong Bim really is and then you see that she is human. And she breaks like a human, then you too break with her..
Because breaking of a strong character is a sorrowful event.
An invisible cricket by her feet at that moment began to weep inconsolably.
And if you say that Indian writers do not write well, then you are not reading right writers.
The struggle of an Alcoholic aunt and the ignorant parents not giving time to kids .. kids making their own world and dreams. At that time nobody knew what future holds for them.
I closed the book at the moment when Tara left the house and Bim said to Dada that they both are alone now and Dada does not understand and she smiled to herself knowing how life will go from now.
‘They’ve left,’ Bim assured him.
He came and sat down beside her. It was very still. Lifting her black cat’s chin on one finger, Him said, staring directly into her green glass eyes, ‘Would you have liked to go with them, Baba – to the wedding, I mean?’ With the cat’s chin still balanced on her finger, she looked at his face from under heavy, tired lids.
Baba, gazing at the cat, too, shook his head quietly. Then the cat grew irritated and jumped off Bim’s lap and twitched the tip of her I angrily.
They sat in silence then, the three of them, for now there seemed not to say another word. Everything had been said at last, eared out of the way finally. There was nothing left in the way of a si or a shadow, only the clear light pouring down from the sun. It might be floating in the light – it was as vast as the ocean, but without colour or substance or form. It was the lightest and most pervasive of all elements and they floated in it. They found the courage, after all, to float in it and bathe in it and allow it to pour onto them, illuminating them wholly, without allowing them a single shadow to shelter in.
Bim sank down onto the steps beside him, sat there in a slumped hay, both tired and relieved, her arms hanging limply over her aces and her head drooping. She watched Baba’s pebbles scatter fall, then his long fingers reach out to gather them together gain, and began to talk, more to herself than to him. ‘So now there are just you and I left, Baba,’ she muttered.
‘Does the house seem empty to you? Everyone’s gone, except you and I. They won’t come back. We’ll be alone now. But we don’t have to worry about anyone now – Tara or Raja or Mira-mausi. We needn’t worry now that they’re all gone. We’re just by ourselves and there’s nothing to worry about. You’re not afraid, are you? There’s no reason to be afraid. It’s as if we were children again – sitting on the Veranda, waiting for father and mother, when it’s growing dark and; it’s bedtime. Really, it’ll be just the way it was when we were children.’
She yawned hugely, her eyes starting out of her head and her cheek bones straining at her stretched skin. ‘It wasn’t so bad then,’ she mumbled, shaking her head sleepily, ‘was it? No. When we were children-‘
But she didn’t say any more. She laid her head on her lap and seemed nearly asleep
I closed the book here and looked up at the wall and at that moment I was totally feeling the fictional characters more than I ever felt a real person.
This is beautiful writing.
This is the type of book which raises your standard of reading. And you see what rubbish you are reading when you read current so-called popular writers. Many books now are not even two dimensional and this novel has 4 dimensions. The front is a simple story of a sacrificing sister.. but behind the scene is the sorcery of Anita Desai’s language which normal reader should not even see..
I read this book to understand the symbolism.I knew there was more to the book than what I am reading and this book truly helped me to see beyond the words.
Set in India’s Old Delhi, CLEAR LIGHT OF DAY is Anita Desai’s tender, warm, and compassionate novel about family scars, the ability to forgive and forget, and the trials and tribulations of familial love. At the novel’s heart are the moving relationships between the members of the Das family, who have grown apart from each other. Bimla is a dissatisfied but ambitious teacher at a women’s college who lives in her childhood home, where she cares for her mentally challenged brother, Baba. Tara is her younger, unambitious, estranged sister, married and with children of her own. Raja is their popular, brilliant, and successful brother. When Tara returns for a visit with Bimla and Baba, old memories and tensions resurface and blend into a domestic drama that is intensely beautiful and leads to profound self-understanding.