BENGALURU: After four books on humour, Sadiqa Peerbhoy has now released a family saga, a conflict, she says, that exists in every family. The story is based out of Mumbai in 1992, but is not a political commentary. “It’s a situation that changed Mumbai forever,” she says.
The story is about the conflict in a matriarchal family. Sadiqa says, “Girls in the family play a stronger role. Besides, there’s a conflict between the older son and the mother. And all of a sudden, an illegitimate son turns up,” she says. Each member have their own perspective and story.
“I know families like that. I was interested to study their interpersonal relationships,” she speaks about her inspiration for the plot.
The book cover reads one of the comments by writer Anita Nair. She points out that the book is a multi-layered one. “The house is located in the centre of Mumbai, a status symbol. So, it’s not just about family in conflict with each other. It’s about giving up the house and financial issues,” Sadiqa says.
An interesting character in the book is an ex-servant and grandfather’s driver Donduram, she says. He is sacked by the woman of the house, but he refuses to leave the servant quarters. She tries to depict Mumbai’s ‘possession is law’ attitude. “Donduram has henchmen from his village to protect him as he refuses to budge from the quarters. He is well placed and takes the family to court when they try to evict him. At the same time, he also saves the family when they land in trouble with the government,” she says about her multi-layered character. All characters have mixed greys...just like all of us, she says.
She took six to eight months to complete the book because she had to rewrite the chapters, she says. “In my first draft, I had written a character of a girl who gives a screen test before the 92 tragedy occurs and she gets raped afterwards. I couldn’t sleep thinking about it. I had to rewrite it and change the ending,” she says adding that a draft for her earlier book was ready in a week. “After the book got over, I kept thinking if she gets married, she adds.
The writer was born in Hyderabad. She grew up in Mumbai and currently, she lives in Bengaluru. When asked if she plans to writer her next based on the IT hub, she says, “Possibly. However, it’s a peaceful place with no earthquakes, bombing, mafia and doesn’t lend much of drama. However, every city has its history, that shapes it background. Maybe Bengaluru’s culture can become a book... the culture about swalpa adjust maadi.”