A Married Woman grew out of the concerns that infused Difficult Daughters. The backdrop to the story is the demolition of the Babri Masjid [December 6th, 1992]. What does one do with such communal hatred? How live with it, how deal with it, how does it affect your daily life?
The book spans over thirty years, a time of change for both the city and the middle classes. Astha, the protagonist, goes from a girl whose main desire is to marry happily, have a home and children, to a woman who, when the dream fades, chooses to assert herself politically, sexually and artistically. Hemant, her husband, goes from an American educated son of a bureaucrat, to an entrepreneur manufacturing TVs, changing inevitably in the process. Pipee, Astha’s closest friend becomes an ardent activist in response to the communal hatred she encounters and does her best to inspire in Astha a similar commitment. Just about everything in Astha’s life forces her towards choices she finds almost impossible to make, given her conventional upbringing.
A Married Woman, IndiaInk, 2003; Faber and Faber, 2003.