Book review: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry


This is the second novel by Rohinton Mistry.

During the period from 1976 until 1984 of , the lives of the main four characters are entwined having The Emergency as a historical background.

Dina Dalal is a daughter of a medical doctor who died when she was twelve years old. Since her mother was enabled to take care of her, this task is given to her older brother Nusswan. Due to his abuses with the whole housework, Dina managed to escape from his household by marrying a chemist, Rustom Dalal. In order to fight against her destiny, Dina became a tailor by working for a company called Au Revoir Exports by being ready-made dresses in patterns. However, her poor eyesight make Dina hires two tailors, Ishvar and Omprakash.

In one of their way to Dina’s house by train, these two tailors met Maneck Kohlah, a college student, who by coincidence is going to rent a room in Dina’s flat.

The author explores the difference in caste and education among these main characters, giving us a vivid portrait of Bombay during this tumultuous period of time in India.

In spite of the heavy emotions that comes up during the narrative, Mistry wrote another great, poignant and magnificent masterpiece.

The cover of this book, Savita, is a photograph made by Dario Mitidieri, showing a two and a half years girl from North Bombay, who performs for Arab tourists near the Taj-Mahal Hotel. (From the Children of Bombay series, 1992).

An interesting link should be mentioned here: A Fine Balance – Let’s talk about Bollywood!

4* Family Matters
5* A Fine Balance
TR Such a Long Journey

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