ISBN 9780140263909,A Matter Of Time

A Matter Of Time



Penguin India Publication

Publication Year 2000

ISBN 9780140263909

ISBN-10 014026390X


Number of Pages 256 Pages
Language (English)

Literary Collections

A powerful tale of a family of three generations of women and their relationships with the men in their life, A Matter of Time begins as a family saga where Gopal walks out of his house and abandons his wife Sumi, and his three daughters Charu, Seema and Aru. Not only does he do so without any explanation whatsoever, but Sumi does not seem to be interested in asking for one. This indifference is highly unsettling for her daughters, with Aru holding herself to be responsible for her father's actions.

The story unfolds as after this incident, Sumi and her three daughters return to their ancestral village, where Kalyani, her mother has been living in an estranged silence with her husband Sripati who hasn't spoken to her in thirty five years. As Kalyani rebuilds a relationship with her daughter and granddaughters, she opens up to them memories long faded and emotions pent up long since. In this atmosphere, all the characters make sense of their lives and Aru understands the roots of her father's desertion and her mother's indifference. Throughout the novel, other relationships are also explored that play into the larger theme of the novel.

The novel is replete with nuanced details about the scenery and rural Karnataka really comes alive to the reader. It is also a philosophical journey of the characters, including Gopal and Sripati, who deal with existential crisis and loss in their own unique, personal ways. A Matter Of Time is weaved in with philosophical underpinnings of the Upanishads, Camus and Joan of Arc, to name a few.

The narrative technique uses both the omniscient (third person) and intimately personal (first person) voice, with the plot moving forward with unexpected turns.