The Girl with Questioning Eyes

The Girl with Questioning Eyes

Babli, sixth in a line of nine siblings, is carrying dried cowpats – fuel she has to deliver to her father, who runs a wayside dhaba. On her way she is stopped in her tracks by a well-dressed college teacher who asks: “Is my bindi properly centred?” “Yes,” gasps the child, aghast at being seen carrying smelly cowpats by such a grand lady.
The encounter seems inconsequential, but it lodges deep in Babli’s mind. When the novel ends, many years later, she understands how much this image – of a labouring child bewildered at being addressed by an educated woman – has driven the twists and turns of her life.
The world of Babli’s family is the distillation of small-town India. Through her we live among farmers and markets, lawyers and louts, casual romances and dying marriages, drunk men and resilient women, festivities and superstitions, and the changing colours of an evening sky. The dust that hangs over everything is the pressure to marry and reproduce a world along lines dictated for centuries by men, siblings, family, neighbours.
Does Babli have what it takes to withstand all that she sees so clearly?
 

Translated from the Hindi by Deepa Jain Singh

  • Author

    Neelesh Raghuwanshi has published four acclaimed collections of poetry in Hindi. She lives in Bhopal.
    This book, Ek Kasbe ke Notes, is her only novel and was published in 2012.
    Deepa Jain Singh grew up speaking Hindi-Urdu. She did her Masters in English Literature from Delhi University, then joined the Indian Administrative Service. Now retired, she devotes her time to reading and writing.

  • Details

    Paperback

    344 pages

    World Rights

  • From the reviews

    "Written in straightforward language ... the novel, even as it describes ordinary everyday events, gets an odd raciness — you want to turn the pages quickly, know what happens next." 
    Sara Rai, Indian Express
     
  • TO BUY

    You can buy this book from our distributors Orient Blackswan, or from good bookstores, or from online portals. We do not sell from this site.

₹495.00Price

To our readers and authors

This website is a work in progress. We have about 400 titles in print and they are in the process of being incorporated here, as also articles and interviews by our authors. This will take a little while, though we are on the job. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please go to

https://permanent-black.blogspot.com/

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

©2022 by Permanent Black