A Suitable Boy - The Miniseries

 

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth adapted to miniseries

Vikram Seth’s 1993 mega novel has finally been adapted on screen. Mira Nair has created a post partition India, that’s believable but also is right from the dreams. The background is 1950’s India, in the cities of Banares, Brahmpur and Calcutta. We see the political parties fight to abolish the zamindari law, and give the lands back to the poor farmers, as the opposition fights against it. We see India gearing up for its first public election, for people to exercise their right to vote. We come across characters who aim high for the society at large, and contribute their own part to the making of progressive India. And we see women going to the university, aiming high and wishing to marry a man of their choice. The setting draws the audience in, completely into the story.

The first episode starts with the marriage of Lata’s elder sister and her realizing that she is the next in line. Her mother wouldn’t give up until she finds a suitable boy for Lata. She meets prospective grooms for her, choses some, rejects some, as they move from one place to another. Meanwhile Lata meets a guy at the Brahmpur university, who is charismatic and takes her to poetry reading sessions. They enjoy the works of great authors and the spoken words. But things take a downturn when she discovers he is a Muslim. But she continues to long for him as she is drawn away.

She then meets a poet, her sister-in-law’s brother. She is almost swoon by his chiseled looked, talent at dance and his passion for poetry. She has her bit of adventures even though she is always chaperoned all the time. Her mother insists on meeting a prospective match who deals in the shoe business. She must choose now, who’s really a suitable boy for her.

The series is of 6 episodes, of 1 hour each. The best part is the spoken language is English, with an Indian accent, along with a dash of Hindi here and there. There are many characters in the story, and many subplots. There’s Maan, an equally important protagonist, as Lata, who despite being a politician’s son, is not concerned of his societal reputation. He falls in love with a renowned singer and entertainer, who’s a lot older than him, and that brings about a lot of ups and downs in his life and everyone related to him. There’s a lot of passion in this subplot, longing and despair- great many upheavals. We see friendships, father-son relationships, secrets guarded for years, unforeseen incidents and so much more. It’s full of life.

After watching this, I am intrigued about the book. May be now I have the courage to take up the humongous book of 1000+ pages. But it’s so full of action, and drama.

 

PS: Please do suggest any other post partition stories or novels or those set in modern India. 1950s- 1980s.


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Comments

  1. I've read this tome! And fallen in love with Vikram Seth! The series is in my to-watch list and I have taken the book out of my trunk again to re-read it.

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    Replies
    1. Oh wow.. Hat's off ....Really.. I want to read it now.. But previously.. I couldn't imagine.. 😄

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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

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  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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