Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saraswati Park - Anjali Joseph



Pages: 261

Published: Fourth Estate 2010

Genre: Literary/ Cultural/Fiction

Format: Paperback

Acquired: Local Library

Date Finished: 16th December 2012


A tremendous first novel from an exciting young author.

Feted for its electric chaos, the city of Bombay also accommodates pockets of calm. In one such enclave, Mohan, a middle-aged letter writer – the last of a dying profession – sits under a banyan tree in Fort, furnishing missives for village migrants, disenchanted lovers, and when pickings are slim, filling in money order forms.

But Mohan's true passion is collecting second-hand books; he's particularly attached to novels with marginal annotations. So when the pavement booksellers of Fort are summarily evicted, Mohan's life starts to lose some of its animating lustre.

At this tenuous moment Mohan – and his wife, Lakshmi – are joined in Saraswati Park, a suburban housing colony, by their nephew, Ashish, a diffident, sexually uncertain 19-year-old who has to repeat his final year in college. As Saraswati Park unfolds, the lives of each of the three characters are thrown into sharp relief by the comical frustrations of family life: annoying relatives, unspoken yearnings and unheard grievances. – Good Reads

My Thoughts on Saraswati Park

This unique and refreshing read set in modern day Bombay was a beautifully written, intimate and thoughtful novel that captured my mind with its simple, yet skillfully written prose and its intricate and fascinating characters.


While at times it was a little slow going, for the most part the languid nature of this novel drew me in and had me flipping pages and making teapot after teapot of tea, enjoying everything from the landscape, to the situations that arose- to the little memories and details that are now etched in my mind and have left me with a tremendous sense of being sated.


I loved learning about the culture of India and the insight that I did gain was enough to fuel me into doing more research and looking into reading more books by Indian authors and reading more novels set in India. The different points of view throughout the novel was not confusing and in fact allowed for a break between the more intense scenes which I found relaxing and my favorite part had to be the underlining concept of writing, art, imagination and a simple life which we struggle with so much nowadays.


If you are looking for a different read that is both powerful and introspective and that will capture your heart and fill you with hope, love and contentment, then I would strongly urge you to pick up this book. I will be certainly looking into any other books by Anjali Joseph and I am so grateful to have read such a fantastic book.


I am giving this one:


Cups of Hot Tea


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