Amitav Ghosh is a favourite author, and I find it difficult to answer in my own head which of his works is my favourite. I hadn’t expected The Glass Palace to be equalled, but The Shadow Lines, which I read recently, is quite the competition.
One of the characters in the book is the narrator’s grandmother, a strong-willed person with her own sets of ideals and ideas. A description of hers that has stuck with me long after the book had been finished is “her fear of accepting anything from anyone that she could not return in exact measure.” I can completely relate to that! Sadly so, I’d add. The corollary to that is expectations from others when one is the giver. It wouldn’t be right to label it as a transactional approach, because the expectation is not in terms of quantity, but more in terms of thought, consideration, acknowledgement and so on. Yet, the expectation exists. And thus a vicious cycle is born. In many ways, it is a subset of the ‘judgment’ theme. More