?Fasting, Feasting Style Essay Example
?Fasting, Feasting Style Essay Example

?Fasting, Feasting Style Essay Example

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  • Published: September 26, 2017
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Point of View
The novel is written in the 3rd individual limited point of position. This means that the writer tells the narrative from an nonsubjective place, as if sing the story’s events without benefit of any ideas or feelings coming straight from the single characters. The writer presents the concatenation of events in the narrative and so interjects what the characters may be believing or sing based on their reactions, facial look, and tone of voice. This point of position is particularly pertinent for the content of the novel, which revolves around the issue of repression, particularly for the female characters. The adult females are non allowed reliable voices in their places or their societies. So the writer restricts what the reader can cognize to mime the repression experienced by the characters. Genre



speedy, intense narrative exchanging point of position and tense as needed. There are many unannounced passages from scene to scene and flashback ( 15-63 ) is used to first-class consequence. Threads of the narrative are left unfinished merely to be taken up once more subsequently in the novel and given a deeper significance ( see Anamika’s or Aruna’s narrative ) .

General Vision or Viewpoint

Think good about this inquiry from a twosome of point of views. It might be easy to disregard Uma’s universe as oppressive to adult females and to the servant lower class and to make up one's mind that life could non be a fulfilled experience in such fortunes. You might believe that Uma’s life is a tragic unfairness ; that she is used and misused by a patriarchal household and society. You might see Arun as a shockable, judgemental

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foreigner unable to set to a civilization different to his ain and whose life is rather unrealized. But this might be to lose the temper and love that is invested in day-to-day life. In India people have a heat and a assortment to their lives that is enviable. 1. Read these notes taken from different beginnings on the web. Make you hold with what they say? Does the point of position used by Desai make you sympathize with a certain character? Explain the usage of point of position and supply citations to back up your thoughts.


Family Life
Although the novel has action in two separate states and has many characters, there is the cardinal subject of household life that unites them all. In India, the immediate household has great importance ; but the drawn-out household besides has an impact on the characters’ lives. This is evidenced by the coming together of household members for procuring bridegrooms and doing marrying agreements for Uma and Aruna. There is besides immense household support and engagement related to times of sorrow, such as the coming together after the decease of Anamika. The rites for both these happy and sad occasions are marked with tradition and intent. These elements seem to be sorely missing in the Patton family in America. It is understood that the clip period of Arun’s stay with the Pattons encompasses merely three months and does non stand for a comprehensive expression at the Patton household.

Subjects and issues

Human agony is depicted often in both parts of the novel. Uma is made to endure by her parents and work forces who take advantage of her. The unusual thing about

her is her response to this agony. She seems to keep optimism throughout her ordeals. Anamika’s awful life and the maltreatment she suffers may light your treatment of agony as would the predicament of Melanie who suffers mental unwellness and binge-eating syndrome and is a sad illustration of American youth. Loneliness

The predicament of Arun in America will give many illustrations of solitariness as will Uma herself who despite her big drawn-out household maintaining her busy she seems rather isolated. Loyalty/Betrayal You might progress the impression that Uma and Anamika are betrayed by their parents in that they treat them really severely when it comes to marriage and relationships. Both misss are seen as loads to be disposed of and you could state they were betrayed. Similarly, Melanie’s predicament is so neglected by her female parent that the word treachery might non be excessively strong. 2. Can you believe of other subjects in the novel? Subjects are the cardinal and frequently cosmopolitan thoughts explored in a literary work. Supply citations to warrant your pick. 3Example of an analysis of transitions

Make you hold with him? Can you happen more illustrations of how Desai uses X to make Y? Now analyse the undermentioned transition.
4 Questions
5. Poetry

Pied Beauty
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Follow this nexus:
hypertext transfer protocol: //www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/gerard-manley-hopkins
1. Listen to the verse form and read it at least twice.

Hopkins was born in 1844, and died merely 45 old ages subsequently, in 1889, but in this comparatively short life he wrote some of the most startling and original poesy of the whole nineteenth Century. He was a deeply rational and spiritual adult male, and became a Jesuit priest in 1877, the same twelvemonth

in which he wrote ‘Pied Beauty’ .

Throughout his life Hopkins was profoundly fond of the countryside and its beauty, in which he could see the work and power of God. In ‘Pied Beauty’ he expresses his delectation and amazement at the sheer diverseness of nature.

What do the things Hopkins describes have in common?
How does Hopkins observe diverseness?
How does the image of the chestnut link the physical with the religious universe? How is the human universe linked to the physical universe in the verse form? How are both the physical and the human universe linked to God? Remark on the undermentioned compound nouns /verbs: ‘couple-colour’ , ‘fresh-firecoal’ , fathers-forth’ . Remark on the usage of sound in the verse form and the consequence it creates. Remark on the beat ( meter ) of the verse form N.B. it is irregular ) . How does it lend to its significance? Annotate the rime strategy. What remarks can you do on its consequence? The verse form begins and ends in a symmetrical manner. Why? What is the consequence of the short concluding line? In what manner are the first and 2nd parts of the verse form the contrary of each other? What is the consequence of detaining the verb ‘fathers-forth’ to the beginning of the penultimate line?

Examination Question: How does this verse form seek to convey the ‘glory’ and magnificence of God for Hopkins?

After reading the verse form, write in paragraphs a sum-up of what you think the verse form is about and your analysis of it. You can work in groups ( non more than four in each group ) and manus in your work to Carolina,


What does Curnow’s reading of his verse form adds to your grasp of it? 2. Read the following which will assist you to analyze the verse form.

Entrapments at Home and Abroad in Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting T. Ravichandran
Assistant Professor of English, Department of Humanities & A ; Social Sciences, IIT Kanpur

Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting, as it is implied in the rubric itself, is a novel of contrast between two civilizations, the one, Indian, known for its pious and longstanding imposts stand foring ‘fasting, ’ and the other, American, a state of luxury and luxury typifying ‘feasting.’ The secret plan unveils through the perceptual experiences of Uma, in India, and of Arun, in America. Both of them are entrapped, irrespective of the civilization and enfolding surroundings, by oppressive bonds exercised by their ain parents, MamaPapa. They are merely MamaPapa or PapaMama but remain unidentified throughout the novel. Yet, this anonymity does non bespeak their namelessness but signifies their catholicity. They are the archetypal parents found everyplace in the middle-class households of India, who discuss, program, secret plan, control, govern the activities of their kids, be it marriage or traveling abroad for surveies. And in their over-domineering concern, they tend to disregard the accidental possibility of ensnaring their ain progeny. Therefore, they do non give eventuality to the fact that possibly their kids excessively can hold a life to name their ain. May be even their ain preoccupations, their ain precedences, possibly an docket for themselves that goes beyond what they really want for their kids. The fresh existences with a snapshot of MamaPapa in a brooding temper: “The parents sit, rhythmically singing, back and Forth.

They could

be asleep, dozing—their eyes are hooded—but sometimes they speak.” That is when a sudden flood of thoughts hit them and they order their eldest girl, Uma, to transport out them without hold. Uma is asked foremost to inform the cook to fix Sweets for her male parent, with inattentive restlessness she states that she has been already asked to pack a package to be sent to her brother, Arun, in America. While she comes literally running on her toes, she is entrusted with an extra occupation of composing a missive to their boy. Somewhere in the center of the novel, the reader understands that it is the usual scene that goes on in the family of MamaPapa. “All forenoon MamaPapa have found things for Uma to make. It is as if Papa’s retirement is to be spent in this manner—sitting on the ruddy swing in the gallery with Mama, rocking, and happening ways to maintain Uma occupied. Equally long as they can make that, they themselves feel busy and occupied” ( 133 ) . In this mode, populating under the demanding regulation of MamaPapa, Uma is repressed, suppressed and is imprisoned at place. The first portion of the novel tells us in a flashback how she became a loath victim of entrapment at place. The 2nd portion of the novel shows how her brother Arun, who leaves his place for higher surveies feels trapped by the very instruction that is meant to emancipate him.

Normally, at place, it would be an oppressive ambiance even if one of the parents is overmastering. With respect to Uma, both of her parents appear to hold merged into a individual

individuality MamaPapa/PapaMama, as if they have a “Siamese twin existence” ( 6 ) . Hence, whenever MamaPapa say something, and whoever says it, it comes with dual the strength and power that it can non be defied at all. “Having fused into one, they had gained so much in substance, in stature, in authorization, that they loomed big plenty as it was ; they did non necessitate separate histories and backgrounds to do them even more immense” ( 6 ) . Despite a little fluctuation in the functions they have chosen to play, Papa’s of “scowling” and “Mama’s scolding” ( 10 ) , in footings of sentiment, they ne'er differed from each other. Therefore, if one refused at that place would non be any “point in appealing to the other parent for a different finding of fact: none was expected, or given” ( 14 ) . Furthermore, the adult females are non allowed for excursions normally, but when Papa feels that the adult females laze around the house excessively much, so they would be taken to the park for walk. On one such juncture, Uma gets easy distracted and fails to maintain gait with her Papa.

Though Papa is far off, and she is left in the company of Mama, she would non make bold effort to purchase some comestibles on her wish though it is extremely alluring: “Uma discoveries saliva garnering at the corners of her oral cavity at the odor of the spiced, roasted gm but decides to state nothing” ( 12-13 ) . In the terminal, Uma is blamed for being “slow” when all the piece Uma could non accommodate herself as why

they are travel rapidlying merely to travel back place. Likewise, the kids are non allowed to hold any sense of privateness even when they have grown-up. They are non allowed to close any doors in the family. For this meant secrets, particularly awful secrets, which are impermissible: “It meant authorization would come still hunt in and do a hunt to prehend upon the filth, the dirty blot” ( 15 ) .

MamaPapa besides decide which of their kids should hold instruction and how much of it. Equally far as Uma is concerned, a pleasant flight from her claustrophobic conditions at place is her school-going. The convent school for her is “streaked with aureate promise” ( 20 ) . Hence, she ever goes early to the school and later finds some alibi to linger there for longer clip. Conversely, she feels deprived during dull weekends when she is left at place: “There were the deplorable weekends when she was plucked back into the pettinesss of her place, which seemed a denial, a negation of life as it ought to be, somber and splendid, and so the endless summer holiday when the heat reduced even that pointless being to farther vacuity” ( 21 ) . Regardless of Uma’s vitality for convent instruction, she is forced to halt traveling to school when Mama gives birth to the 3rd babe, Arun. Even as Uma shows dissension, she is coaxed, cajoled and eventually threatened to accept her Mama’s determination: ‘But ayah can make this—ayah can make that—’ Uma tried to protest when the orders began to come midst and fast. This made Mama look austere once more. ‘You know we can’t

leave the babe to the retainer, ’ she said badly. ‘He needs proper attention.’ When Uma pointed out that ayah had looked after her and Aruna as babes, Mama’s look made it clear it was rather a different affair now, and she repeated menacingly: ‘Proper attention’ ( 31 ) .

Subsequently, Uma looks frontward towards her matrimony to give her the much-needed alleviation, yet, unluckily, she returns place frustrated after a fallacious matrimony and subsequent divorce. Back at place, she gets a rare, occupation offer through Dr. Dutt, but MamaPapa refuse to direct her. When Dr. Dutt persists on taking Uma for the occupation, Mama lies of an unwellness for which she needs Uma to nurse her. In similar mode, when Uma receives an invitation for a java party from Mrs. O’Henry, MamaPapa garbage to direct her to the party because of the apprehensiveness that Mrs. O’Henry might entrap her and change over her into a Christian nun. Reduced therefore to a babysitter at her earlier yearss and an unpaid retainer for her egoistic parents for the remainder of her life, Uma finds no flight from her entrapment. Uma experiences, nevertheless, a brief rest of felicity and freedom one time when she is allowed to attach to her ailing aunt, Mira-Masi, on her pilgrim's journey. During her stay at dark in an ashram, Uma finds a unusual nexus of her life with the barks and ululation of the Canis familiariss:

At dark she lay softly on her mat, listening to the ashram Canis familiaris bark. Then other Canis familiariss in distant small towns, out along the river bed and over in the pampas grass, or in wayside

hovels and huts by the highway—barked back. They howled long messages to each other. Their messages traveled back and Forth through the dark darkness which was entire, absolute. Gradually the barks sank into it and drowned. Then it was soundless. That was what Uma felt her ain life to hold been—full of barks, ululation, messages, and now—silence ( 61 ) .

At this occasion, one is reminded of Anita Desai’s characteristic manner of doing her internally disruptive supporters find look by association with external milieus. Therefore, for case, in Cry, the Peacock, Maya’s feelings of isolation and yearnings are coupled with those of the weeping of the Inachis ios. Still, one locates a sort of sublimity in the agonized inner call of Maya when it is likened with Inachis ios. When Uma’s hurting is related to the barks and ululation of Canis familiariss, the poesy of Maya’s torment is to be seen in crisp contrast to that of the tormenting poorness of Uma’s entrapment. Providing to the caprices and illusions of MamaPapa, but maintaining her compunction selfcontained, at one point of the novel, Uma feels utterly friendless and entirely, even when she is at place and surrounded by her MamaPapa. In despair, she thinks of composing a missive to a friend to portion her heartache but it merely ends up with the realization that she has none to confide with:

She could compose a missive to a friend—a private message of desperation, dissatisfaction, longing ; she has a package of notepaper, pale violet with a pink rose embossed in the corner—but who is the friend? Mrs. Joshi? But since she lives following door, she would be surprised.

Aruna? But Aruna would pay no attending, she is excessively busy. Cousin Ramu? Where was he? Had his farm swallowed him up? And Anamika—had matrimony devoured her? ( 134 ) .

However, it would be incorrect to presuppose that Anita Desai shows Uma’s unattractiveness, awkwardness and obtuseness of head as causes for her entrapment. Uma’s polar antonym, her graceful, beautiful and superb cousin, Anamika’s parturiency is more affecting. While Uma’s failure in her school test pressurises her to remain at place, Anamika does so magnificently in her concluding school tests, that she wins a scholarship to Oxford. Yet, Anamika lives in a patriarchal society that considers higher instruction to be the privilege of males, and matrimony as the major preoccupation of females. The scholarship obtained is used merely as a agency to win her a hubby who is considered an equal to the family’s prestigiousness. Anamika’s parents are unperturbed by the fact that he is so much older than her, so grim-faced and witting of his ain high quality, and is “totally imperviable to Anamika’s beauty and grace and distinction” ( 70 ) . But it is Anamika, who starts another life of entrapment the minute she enters her in-laws’ house. Anamika’s hubby is a typical ‘Mama’s boy’ to the extent he could be a soundless informant to his mother’s whipping of his married woman on a regular basis.

Anamika, who won a scholarship to Oxford, spends her full clip in the kitchen cooking for a really big household that eats in shifts—“first the work forces, so the kids, eventually the women” ( 70 ) . After a abortion, which followed a barbarous whipping, and the belief

that she could non bear more kids, eventually, the household ties her up in a nylon sari, pours the kerosine over her, and burns her to decease. Here once more Desai is non connoting that the un-burnt brides and the well-settled 1s may populate a content life. In this respect, she portrays the narrative of Aruna, Uma’s smart and reasonably younger sister who makes a discreet pick and marries “the wisest, … the handsomest, the richest, the most exciting of the suers who presented themselves” ( 101 ) . Aruna’s matrimony to Arvind who has a occupation in Bombay and a level in a lodging block in Juhu, confronting the beach is merely a similar a dream-come-true. Yet to populate that dream-life to the full she transforms herself and urgently seeks to present alteration in the lives of others. She cuts her hair, takes her make-up kit wherever she goes, and calls her sister and female parent as ‘villagers’ once they refuse to accept her sophisticated and brassy manner of life. For that ground, she avoids sing her parents’ place and the rare occasions of her short visits are spent in faulting the untidiness of the surrounding and the dwellers.

Even she goes to the extent of call on the carpeting her hubby when he splits tea in his disk, or wears a shirt, which does non fit, with his pants. In this manner, Aruna’s entrapment is different from the remainder. She has liberated herself from the imposts and ruling place regulations that bind the remainder of the characters like Uma and Anamika. Yet, in contradicting those codifications, she ensnares herself in her huffy chase towards

a vision of flawlessness. And in order to make that flawlessness she needs to constantly uncover and rectify the defects of her ain household every bit good as of Arvind’s. When none other than Uma sees through the entrapment of Aruna, she feels commiseration for her: Sing Aruna vexed to the point of cryings because the cook’s pudding had sunk and spread alternatively of staying unsloped and solid, or because Arvind had come to dinner in his sleeping room slippers, or Papa was have oning a jersey with a hole under one arm, Uma felt commiseration for her: was this the kingdom of easiness and comfort for which Aruna had ever pined and that some might state she had attained? Surely it brought her no pleasance: there was ever a fold of discontent between her superciliums and an agitation that made her palpebras waver, upseting Uma who noticed it ( 109 ) .

While Uma, Anamika, Aruna present the female versions of entrapment in Fasting, Feasting, Arun pictures the male version of it. Unlike his sisters, right from his birth, Arun desists eating the nutrient of his household which is symbolic of its values. Much to the discouragement of his male parent, he shows his penchant for vegetarian nutrient. Simply because it revolutionised the life style of his male parent, Arun can non be forced to eat non-vegetarian nutrient. This, of class, is a cause of letdown for Papa: Papa was ever contemptuous of those of their relations who came to see and insisted on cleaving to their cereal-and vegetable-eating ways, shying off from the meat dishes Papa insisted on holding cooked for dinner. Now his

ain boy, his one boy, displayed this wholly perplexing desire to return to the ways of his sires, meek and puny work forces who had got nowhere in life. Papa was profoundly annoyed ( 32- 33 ) .

However, Arun can non to the full come out of the clasps of Papa, particularly, in footings of his instruction. And dry plenty, it is instruction, which alternatively of offering the coveted liberty, paves manner for Arun’s entrapment.

Papa, in order to give “the best, the most, the highest” ( 119 ) instruction for his boy, takes charge of Arun’s life from his childhood. Although Arun’s school scrutinies are over, Papa can non let him to travel to his sister’s house in Bombay during vacations, since he has planned that clip for taking up entryway scrutinies and readying for directing applications to travel abroad for ‘higher studies’ . However, in the eyes of Aruna, her father’s frenzied finding to acquire a foreign scholarship for Arun, is really on history of his unrealized dreams, which he tries to enforce on his boy. That is why, when the missive of credence from Massachusetts eventually arrives, it stirs no emotions in Arun: Uma watched Arun excessively, when he read the fatal missive. She watched and searched for an look, of alleviation, of joy, uncertainty, fright, anything at all. But there was none… . There was nil else—not the intimation of a smiling, frown, laugh or anything: these had been ground down boulder clay they had disappeared. This clean face now stared at the missive and faced another stage of his being arranged for him by Papa ( 121 ) .

As a referee

justly observes, “With a deft touch, Desai shows us that MamaPapa’s aspirations for Arun are every bit smothering as their deficiency of aspiration for Uma, ….” From America, Arun’s letters come merely to bespeak his endurance and endurance. His messages are diluted, and are devoid of any emotion and substance. “The most personal note he struck was a poignant, often repeated ailment: ‘The nutrient is non really good’” ( 123 ) . The ties, though unseeable, are so overpowering that even in a state that feasts on individualism, Arun fails to attest his individuality as an person. Caught in the prison house of his ain family’s nutrient wonts, he can neither nurture the foreigner nutrient nor develop a sense of belonging with Patton’s household that shelters him during his holiday. The odor of the natural meat being charred over the fire by Mr. Patton for steak or beefburger is loathsome for Arun. Conversely, Mr. Patton fails to understand why Arun truly refuses to eat a good piece of meat.

While Mrs. Patton symphathises with Arun, and gives him the vegetarian nutrient points, peculiarly tomato pieces and boodle on staff of life, Arun finds them abhorrent excessively. Because he thinks that “in his clip in America he has developed a hearty abomination for the natural nutrients everyone here thinks the natural diet of a vegetarian” ( 167 ) . Hence when Mrs. Patton, rather satisfied with her occupation of a host, watches him eating with pride and complicity, Arun Ate with an look of suffering and a sense of mistreatment. How was he to state Mrs. Patton that these were non the nutrients that figured in his

civilization? That his digestive system did non cognize how to turn them into nutriment? ( 184-185 ) . Where Mrs. Patton’s girl, Melanie, bluffly says she finds the nutrient revolting, and refuses to savor it, Arun has to impotently eat it. Melanie, nevertheless, suffers from bulimia—a upset in which gorging surrogates with self-induced emesis, fasting, etc. Her binge-eating syndrome, along with her mother’s craze for purchasing nutrient points to make full the deep-freeze, signifies the consumerist society that she hails from, where extra becomes the malady. This seen in contrast to Rod, the fittingness overzealous, who spends all his clip and energy in jogging, baffles Arun who wonders that “one can’t state what is more unsafe in this state, the chase of wellness or of sickness” ( 204-205 ) .

He apprehends that like Melanie, who eats, pukes and lies on her puke most of the clip, the people of her state excessively, go through an incomprehensible hurting and a existent hungriness. Yet he can non accommodate his head to the unanswerable inquiry: “But what hunger a individual so sated can experience? ” ( 224 ) . Anita Desai, in portraying the narratives of entrapment in Fasting, Feasting, presents one version after another ; each lending together to a maestro version, and each at the same time overthrowing the other towards an unfastened and contingent version. Consequently, in the narrative of Uma, we find her unattractiveness taking to her eventual entrapment. Yet, if we pass a concluding finding of fact on this history, we would be proved erroneous since Desai presents the versions of Aruna and Anamika, Uma’s appealing sister and capturing cousin, severally. Beauty can

non offer them get away from entrapments ; in truth, it is instead their good expressions that victimise them. Further, if we think once more that it is Uma’s deficiency of instruction that has led to her entrapped state of affairs, Desai presents us the corruption of Anamika, where foreign scholarship fetches her an equal lucifer but fails to supply her the needed flight, it suffocates and kills her literally. In similar mode, if as Uma thinks, “A CAREER. Leaving place.

Populating alone” ( 130 ) would convey in the necessary freedom from entrapment, Desai presents us the narrative of Arun, who leaves place, lives entirely for a calling but feels the stabs of entrapment despite it. Besides, in supplying a male version through the narrative of Arun’s entrapment, Desai negates any feministic finding of fact based on the other female versions of entrapment that is likely to set the incrimination on the patriarchal, male-centred society. Therefore, Anita Desai, frequently described as one of the finest authors of this state, has moved from her earlier, typical manner of sympathizing with her characters, females particularly, to a different degree of esthesia now. Where it would be easy to presuppose her open feministic concerns in a novel like Cry, the Peacock, it would be unwise to near her Fasting, Feasting with any such preconceived impressions. Desai herself speaks out in a recent interview that she has been intentionally switching her focal point from female characters to male characters. She instead feels she needs to turn to and voice out subjects which concern males excessively. She says:

“Specially in my earlier work I found myself turn toing the same things

over and over once more: really much about the life of adult females, specially those adult females who are confined to place and household, besides the purdah from which a individual can endure even if life within a large household or surrounded by crowds. But after several old ages and several books I began to experience suffocated myself by the parturiency of these topics. I felt I was restricting the district to such an extent that it created a sort of asphyxiation even for me. So I intentionally opened the doors, to widen the canvas, and started composing more about male characters and their lives, because I felt they had a broad experience of the universe, and I could turn to a greater assortment of experiences.”

Finally, if we consider the male version represented by Arun and the female versions constituted by Uma, Anamika and Aruna as Indian versions, Desai offers American versions to counter them. The narrative, therefore swinging between
two states and civilizations shows to turn out through the characters of Uma and Arun, and their opposite numbers Melanie and Rod, that efforts of flight from entrapments can merely be impermanent, illusive and self-destructively ineffectual since entrapments through familial knots are omnipresent, all encompassing and universal. And possibly the redemption comes when one accepts entrapment of one sort or another envisioned as an ineluctable fact of life.


1Anita Desai, Fasting, Feasting ( London: Vintage, 1999 ) 3.
All subsequent page mentions are to this edition.

2Sylvia Brownrigg, “Fasting, Feasting” by Anita Desai.
hypertext transfer protocol: //archive.salon.com/books/review/2000/02/17/desai/print.html. [ 9/15/2002 ] .

Magda Costa, “Interview with Anita Desai, Lateral ( March 2001 ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www.umiacs.umd.edu/users/sawweb/sawnet/books/desai_interview.html. [ 9/15/2002 ] .

transfer protocol: //www.sawnet.org/books/writing/desai_interview.html

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