SET in the city of Patna, this is a fiction which explores the relationship of the protagonist Anuradha (or Anu as she is called at home). With the society in India rapidly changing and with each family wanting to live as a nuclear unit, the arrival of any relative or friend is viewed as a headache and it disrupts the peace of the house.
One day Anu’s husband announces that his Professor Girish Chandra Verma is arriving from USA to stay for a short while with them. For the next two-three days, Anu keeps on asking her husband morning and night for how long the professor is coming and why he is coming. Soon afterwards, her maid announces that she is pregnant yet again and is planning to get her elder daughter married. Anu learns that her aunt’s daughter is about to get engaged. Anu also has to attend Rajeev Lochan Sinha’s daughter’s wedding and she in a flap as she has not yet decided which saree she is going to wear for the occasion. Anu’s son wants a new pencil box and daughter asks for new school shoes.
Meanwhile Kallu Chacha arrives at Anu’s home to arrange his daughter’s marriage. Anu’s mother wants to prevent Nanni from becoming a model. Srijana is buying a goat because she knows the art of goat-keeping since she had tended to the animals of the landlord, who spent most of his time and energy on his flock than on his tenants and employees.
One day Anu’s husband tells her the online address of the mysterious Prof. Verma and Anu approaches him and begins to see life through his eyes. In the process she gets increasingly distanced from the world around her. She sends him an e-mail saying that with a lot happening around her, she has failed to get involved. “It’s as if I am a spectator to my own life.”
Anu imagines that the visiting Prof. Verma has had an affair with one of his students before leaving for USA. In the end she discovers it is only her imagination that is building up all kinds of stories.
(HarperCollins Publishers India, A-53, Sector 57, Noida-201 301.)