- Title: In Times of Siege
- Author: Githa Hariharan
- ISBN: 9780375422393
- Page: 292
- Format: Hardcover
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Shiv Murthy is a meek, middle aged professor of history at a college in New Delhi When Meena, his twenty four year old ward, breaks her leg, she calls on him for help, even though they barely know each other and even though Murthy s wife is visiting their daughter in another city Coping with Meena s care, struggling with the feeling this intellectual, self possessed, polShiv Murthy is a meek, middle aged professor of history at a college in New Delhi When Meena, his twenty four year old ward, breaks her leg, she calls on him for help, even though they barely know each other and even though Murthy s wife is visiting their daughter in another city Coping with Meena s care, struggling with the feeling this intellectual, self possessed, politically minded, and sexually aware young woman stirs in him, Murthy s life is thrown into even further turmoil when one of his medieval Indian history lessons is challenged by a group of religious extremists The university responds by giving Murthy the opportunity to apologize publicly But increasingly in thrall to Meena and influenced by her political convictions, Murthy takes an entirely unexpected plunge into the political world he defies the university and the fundamentalists, and defies as well his most basic sense of who and what he is.
Recent Comments "In Times of Siege"
The hell was this? If it weren't for the fact that this book was given to me by a guy whom I like as part of a spontaneous book exchange in an indie bookstore that we went to, I would never have picked this up, let alone read it. In fact, the only reason I lasted for as long as I did - about halfway through before I started skimming, and even skimming couldn't reduce the pain of reading this - was because I really like the guy who gave me this book. Alas, I can hardly say the same about the nove [...]
This is a book about dualities, embodied symbolically in the confluence of two rivers. Where two rivers meet they flow alongside each other but retain their separate identities, even though they coexist within the same riverbanks. After the passage of time and distance, after much mixing at the border they share, after each current struggles against the other, they merge, becoming a single unified stream. There are many dualities: fundamentalism/tolerance, age/youth, conservative/liberal, yin/ya [...]
Centers on academic freedom and Hindu nationalism; the main character Shiv is flawed and very real. His midlife obsession with the young woman who comes to stay with him while recovering from a broken leg was a little tedious and obvious, and the fading of the central conflict, while undoubtedly realistic, felt anticlimactic. Worth reading; just a bit disappointing. Favorite quote: one of the nationalists sniping at the liberals for defending "Taslima Rushdie" (mixing Taslima Nasrin with Salman [...]
Who could describe with dignity and eroticism a relationship between a middle-aged man and a twenty-year-old woman (who broke her leg)? This aunty of power! Another thing that warms my heart is that the professor-protagonist writes a lesson about a medieval South Indian mystic-activist, whose verses and ideas pepper the narrative.
Just a brilliant, moving story. I love the way Githa Hariharan portrays relationships between two characters. The relationship between Meena and Shiv is striking, as if it were a close-up camera shot. The choices of characters who form the central relationship are also unusual in intriguing ways. Although there are other characters who interact with these main figures, the novel revolves almost entirely around this middle-aged professor and a young college student. And it's not entirely the sort [...]
Amazing how a book about Hindu fundamentalism and anti-pluralism reads like it's taking place in the US.
Very interesting I am about half way through I think it may get a lot better hopefully.
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