Taking the Indian setting for granted

From Githa Hariharan’s tribute to the late Shama Futehally in The Kolkata Telegraph:

“Shama’s commitment to writing was made when she “felt part of the human family”. This sense of being part of a family included her sense of location in the larger family of Indian writers; Shama wanted to share what she perceived as the natural perspective of those who write in the other Indian languages. Such a perspective, she felt, would help take the Indian setting “for granted”, not explain India, either as a glossary or a well-written tourist brochure, to a hypothetical foreign reader.”

In The Hindu, Shashi Deshpande writes:

“Shama came from a privileged background and both her novels reveal some of her discomfort about this. But I think she was learning to accept what she was and where she came from — the first step for a writer. I have a feeling that the next step — of breaking free — would have soon happened. She was on the cusp of change; the play and her translations of poetry from Hindi and Urdu were indications of this change. She was a “golden child”, her father said, one who did nothing wrong — except dying at the age of 52. The wrong time for a wife, a mother or a daughter to die. The wrong time for a writer too, for so much, the best maybe, is still to come.”

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