A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

Rohinton Mistry is one of the foremost writers currently writing in Indian English. He is famous for his works Such as A fine balance, Such a long Journey and family matters. Last week, I read his ‘A fine balance. It is poignant and tragic. It would certainly touch you.

It is the story of four different people- two tailors, who are poor, a Parsi woman, and a college student. Set in the backdrop of the notorious emergency of the 1975, this novel tells us how would these different lives intersect.

Om and Ishwar are perpetual outcasts, carrying the wounds of a tragic past. Dina is a widow, who loses her husband tragically. while Maneck is from a mountaneous small town, who also has his own secrets. Dina is your Quintessential urban dwelling gentlewoman, who does appear to be heartless towards the poor. Maneck is compassionate, and the tailors are poor but dignified people.

Initially Dina doesn’t like the tailors. She thinks they are unhygienic, uncouth people. Gradually , with the help of compassionate Maneck, she would understand their trials and tribulations. Both of them belongs to the untouchable caste, and their families would be annihilated by the upper caste people.

The ending is extremely sad, and I literally had tears in eyes when I read about the tragic fate that awaits Om and Ishwar. If you want to know about the marvelous literature written by Indians in English, please do read this book.

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