Mai : Silently Mother – Geetanjali Shree , Tr. Nita Kumar


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Nestled within the walls of a home in a north Indian town, a vibrant microcosm thrives―a tapestry intricately woven by a joint family, their attendants and a continuous flow of visitors. Across three generations, women and men employ varied strategies of adaptation and achievement, choosing either to conform or to challenge the constraints of patriarchy.

At the epicentre of this intricate web stands Mai, the ostensibly gentle mother, orchestrating the complex patterns of relationships and actions, carving out a life not just for herself but for those around her. Despite her modern children’s attempts to liberate her from perceived confinement, the evolving story challenges simplistic notions of bondage and freedom. The novel masterfully weaves profound tales of love and loss, with Mai serving as its central and compelling figure.

Mai, Geetanjali Shree’s debut work, is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002. In Nita Kumar’s translation, the narrative comes alive, inviting readers into this captivating exploration of family, relationships and the intricacies of freedom.


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