1. A Fine Balance
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  3. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
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friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state. RosettaBooks is proud to publish Rohinton Mistry's. PDF | On Jan 1, , Surya Kiran and others published The Politics Indira Gandhi, Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance tells us about the life of. ABSTRACT This paper intends to the study the representation of untouchables in Rohinton mistry's A Fine Balance ().I wish to present the devastating.

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However, (Dodiya ix) he longs for his homeland and continues to have an A Fine Balance is a moving narrative painted emotional liaison with her through his. A Fine Balance by Aashish Kaul Southerly | 16 Apr, Some months ago, while in India, I went up into the mountains. On a late afternoon, following a walk in. Rather than looking within the historian's ideology, it may prove beneļ¬cial to compare the epilogue to A Fine Balance in which the theme of hope is central to the.

Plot summary[ edit ] The book exposes the changes in Indian society from independence in to the Emergency called by Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Mistry was generally critical of Indira Gandhi in the book. She, however, is never referred to by name by any of the characters, and is instead called simply "the Prime Minister". The characters, from diverse backgrounds, are brought together by economic forces changing India. Prologue: Ishvar and Om's story[ edit ] Ishvar and Omprakash's family is part of the Chamaar caste , who traditionally cured leather and were considered untouchable.

A Fine Balance

Maneck spent his days going to school, helping at the store, and going on walks with his father. When he was in the fourth standard, Maneck was sent to boarding school to help his education, much to his dismay. After this, his relationship with his parents deteriorates because he does not wish to be separated from them and feels betrayed. His parents send him to a college and choose his major, refrigeration and air-conditioning.

Maneck goes to college and stays at the student hostel. Maneck becomes friends with his neighbor, Avinash, who is also the student president and who teaches him how to get rid of vermin in his room.

Avinash also teaches Maneck chess and they play together often. Avinash later becomes involved in political events, for which Maneck has little interest, and their friendship is no longer a priority for Avinash. They start seeing each other quite infrequently.

But when the Emergency is declared in India, political activists had to go into hiding in order to be safe, Avinash included.

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Maneck, after a humiliating ragging session by fellow hostel students, has his mother arrange a different living situation for him, and he moves in with Dina Dalal. Effects of the Emergency[ edit ] Dina and the tailors' business runs fairly smoothly for almost a year, but effects of the Emergency bother them often. The shantytown where the tailors live is knocked down in a government "beautification" program, and the residents are uncompensated and forced to move into the streets.

Later Ishvar and Om are rounded up by a police beggar raid and are sold to a labor camp.

A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

After two months in the camp, they bribe their way out with the help of the Beggarmaster, a kind of pimp for beggars. Ishvar and Om are lucky and Dina decides to let them stay with her. The tailors and Dina find trouble from the landlord, because she is not supposed to be running a business from her flat.

She pretends that Ishvar is her husband and Om their son and also gets protection from the Beggarmaster. Ishvar and Om return to their village to find a wife for Omprakash, who is now eighteen. Maneck returns home, finished with his first year in college he has received a certificate but not a degree , but has stiff relations with his family and finds that his father's business is failing due to the invasion of cheap commercial sodas. He takes a lucrative job in Middle Eastern Dubai to escape the conditions.

Dina being alone now, and her protector the Beggarmaster having been murdered, has no protection from the landlord who wants to break her apartment's rent control and charge more rent, so she is evicted. Dina is forced to move back to her brother Nusswan's house. Omprakash and Ishvar return to their old town to find that Ashraf Chacha is an elderly man whose wife died and daughters were all married off.

He gives them a place to stay while they search for marriage prospects for Om. While they walk around the village, they run into the upper-caste Thakur Dharamsi. Omprakash recognizes him and spits in his direction. Thakur in turn recognizes Om, and decides to somehow pay Om back for his disrespect of an upper caste member.

Does it overwhelm us with its magnificent scale or because we have somehow carried and transmitted the archetypal image of this scene across ages, some kind of slow and latent conditioning? But his response was sharp and disappointing.

Of the worst kind. A fresh batch of tour buses and taxis had landed at the barrier behind us, and men, women, and children were pouring out of them in their colourful, rented snow suits, posing for photos, flitting about, restlessly taking in the scene, sporadic vents of brief joyous eruptions.

But already there were others who had had their fill of snow and cold and headaches, and were getting into their vehicles to return to the town below, leading to ever more hooting of horns, congestion, and death-scares.

Something else was happening. The scene, there in all its timeless splendor, was already leaving us. The mountains and valleys were exhibiting themselves exactly as before, and yet we felt that they were turning away from us. An invisible yet certain veil was falling over everything that instantly excluded us. Bust of William Wordsworth, Cumbria, England. Joe Fox via Fine Art America. Olive White Why does Wordsworth grieve to see the majestic peak unveiled?

The great archetypes of the mind, pure ideas, find themselves usurped by mere sense- images. The question is not, How can we keep the imagination pure, protected from the onslaughts of reality?

The question has to be, Can we find a way for the two to coexist? As the sense-organs reach the limit of their powers, their light begins to go out.

Yet at the moment of expiry that light leaps up one last time like a candle-flame, giving us a glimpse of the invisible. Wordsworth seems to be feeling his way towards a balance: It is this balance between the sense-image and the pure idea that language, at its best, achieves.

Destined to be a bridge between the two at its peak, it is also this very Midas touch of language that turns anything it as much as caresses into fiction.

A Fine Balance - Wikipedia

Fiction, of course, not in a superficial, everyday sense, but rather in a deeper, more philosophical one. And here lies the paradox: For instance, I have persevered to describe the two different scenes above, one more recent than the other, in precise detail, leaving out all extraneous material, going straight for the thing in all its facticity. Their life in the city turns out to be a horrendous experience until they meet Dina Dalal who is on the lookout for tailors.

However, it is the Emergency that gets represented most realistically in the novel since the fusion between the general and the personal is seen here at it best. Ishwar and Om manage to find a shack in the jhopadpatti that, incidentally, is most vividly portrayed by Mistry, something of a novelty in recent Indian English fiction.

Their daily life is picturised with a Dickensian eye for detail. We have a memorable account of the inhabitants of the jhopadpatti being taken to a village to form part of the audience where the Prime Minister speaks to them of the numerous benefits of the emergency to the poor.

And now homeless, they end up as pavement dwellers, but even here there is no solace available to them. Om and Ishwar are then taken away to a nearby irrigation project site where they go through the hard grind of manual labour, while being provided with semblance of a shelter and offered some food. The intellectual response to the emergency is dramatized in a long conversation between Maneck and Avinash.

Gupta and Nusswan both represent the vested interests hail the emergency as a true spirit of renaissance and regard the Prime Minister as our visionary leader. She is initially quite appalled by their sloppy work and tardiness.

The various stages in their relationship, from her initial resistance to any kind of intimacy with the tailors to the longing for their company, given her loneliness, and the rapid growth of concern for them once she learns of the enormity of their suffering, are described in painstaking details by the novelist.

This transformation of such a relationship, as the one between Parsis and Chamaars is an exceptional event in Indian English fiction.

Mistry does not resort to any romantic simplification. It is the mutual dependence between them that finally forces Dina Dalal to agree to let the tailors sleep in her veranda for she could not afford to lose their services.

Note her reflection: But how firm to stand, how much to bend? Where was the line between compensation and foolishness, kindness and weakness?

And that was from her position. From theirs, it might be a line between mercy and cruelty, consideration and callousness. She could draw it on this side, but they might see it on that side Mistry All the sides of the dining table in her house are fully occupied for the first time after eighteen long years.

Once she even tells Ibrahim, the rent-collector that Ishwar is her husband and Maneck and Om are her sons. That they cared about her and gave her more respect than she had received from some of her own relatives? That she had, during these last few months, known what a family was Mistry ?

It is nothing short of a marvel that such a possibility is made into a fictional reality by Mistry. A year of togetherness with such disparate experiences to share, acts of kindness to remember, hilarious moments to savour, occasional quarrels to forget- all these contribute to a real bonding between the four of them.

Of course, it is Dina Dalal who emerges as the informing centre of their life because it is she who, from her initial reluctance and resistance, gradually gets to know the others and comes to realize the value of friendship and fellow feeling. Mistry creates a memorable symbol in the quilt acts as a storehouse of memories to each one of them, for every piece has individual association and acts as reminders of particular events in their life.

In fact, Maneck rightly believes that God is a giant quilt maker. Mistry reveals unsuspected insight into constitution of the human urine as well. But the urine smell that used to flutter like a flag in the air gradually grows unnoticeable. She also learns how one gets accustomed to things and then it struck her: the scent was unobtrusive now because it was the same for everyone.

They were all eating the same food, drinking the same water. Sailing under one flag. These ages are not meant for readers with finer sensibilities and delicate stomachs! All these are refreshingly new to the world of Indian English fiction, for what we had so far was the representation of a sanitized, sterilized and deodorized world.

Such details were dreaded in the past, perhaps, by both the writers and readers and hence they were scrupulously avoided.