The Inheritance of Loss


The books starts off on a note of happiness all around but ends with gloom overtaking everything. The book describes the story of Jemubhai, a typical Indian in the era of 1950s who goes for higher studies in UK, and encloses himself in the books and nothing else. This person turns into a conceited bastard and comes back to India with a great self-pride. He gets offended by the not-so-sophisticated manners of his wife and beats her up everyday and then forsake her and his only daughter.

The book also tells how Sai, a 16 year old girl, falls into love with her tutor, Gyan. The sweet moments shared by them have been described beautifully, the kissing, the touching, the cuddling, the nicknames, etc. But, then in the wake of Gorkhaland movement which started in Kalimpong, their love turns sour. Then the author describes wonderfully the nefarious breaking-up in which each of the person tries his/her best to detract the other. The incidents taken place in the past are used to justify their mudslinging, including the petty financial and moral aspects of each. Though, later on it is shown that both of them turn into guilty conscience.

The book describes how Biju, the son of the cook, wants to get a Visa for America like millions others. Then Biju reaches America, and the kind of life led by him over there is described. The equivocation faced by him on the fronts like holy cow, unholy cow, good Muslims, Bad Pakis, etc. The one room flat occupied by many, the ways in which to circumvent the authorities, the inability to walk into any departmental store, very high medical costs which cannot be afforded. Then in the climax, the author has shown that how, inspite of all these America is considered to be better than India. It is because of the lawlessness and poverty that prevails in India.

Then author has shown through the stories of Gyan, the injustice conducted on the part of minority ethnic groups of India. It has also shown the way in which Indian Police Force acts, the act of brutality against a drunkard who was taken up from the streets, was a result of their pent up anger. The book has also illustrated how poverty triumphs over wealth, through the case of Lola and Noni. Their house transformed into a shelter for the rioters without their consent. Towards the end, author is also successful in showing the grief caused by the lost of love, through the stealing of Mutt from Judge. Through this author has also shown the perverse face of Indian poverty.

In the end, all hell was broken loose. The guilt built up inside the cook, the Judge, and Sai were all pouring forth. The beating up of Cook by Judge through his slippers, even though Judge is not able to lift his hands, show the sadistic pleasure derived. This all has conjured up a great book, showing the various facades of grief (loss) and hence the name “The Inheritance of Loss”.

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