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Sawnet - Bookshelf - Fiction -
Inside the Haveli
16 February 2009
A young college-educated woman from Bombay is married into a large traditional family (in Rajasthan?) who live in a haveli. At first everyone sees her as being standoffish because she has little in common with the other women around, and does not have their easy familiarity with kitchen and household work. The haveli servants are part of the family in one way -- they share in its ups and downs -- but their livelihoods are clearly dependent on the Family's benevolence. This particular family is generous and very aware of their responsibilities to the servants and their families. They are also shown as being very understanding towards young Gita, the Bombayite, though I read their understanding as being mostly symbolic and not supportive in any practical way. I think the point of this book was to show the safety and comfort of a traditional lifestyle, but the bottom line was that the young woman 'adjusted'.
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