Both volumes won awards at the 2002/2003 San Diego Book Awards for Poetry.


Gopal is the only one left in the Kachiguda house. In its dark rooms, once filled with a great family legacy, his legendary father’s intellectual whispers and the cries of six children, he looks back on a generation gone wrong. Why did their litter fail? Where did they go wrong in their lives? Can a family’s decadence be explained in the little things left behind in those Dark Rooms – a picture of his father standing next to his Moris Minor, a broken gramophone, a deserted kitchen. Sleeping for hours under an old creaking fan, he looks back to his failed marriage to Kaveri, Kaveri who left him, remarried and moved to America. Dark Rooms is also a saga of a man seen through the eyes of a nephew, from the time when Gopal first meets Kaveri to when the news of Kaveri’s death comes to him, while he awaits her, sitting in one of those Dark Rooms. 

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Leela is about to enter her second marriage. In the seven steps she would take around the marital fire, she would become a stranger to one man, and the intimate part of another man’s body. As she takes each step, she reminisces her falling in love with her first husband, Salim; her fighting against her father to become Salim’s; and the inevitable death it would bring her father. When Salim exercises his Muslim polygamist right and marries a second wife, Leela leaves him. To repay the debt she owed her dead father, she decides to marry the man he always wanted for her – Shiva, a married man. As Leela traces her seven steps around the marital fire, she recounts her journey through love, elopement, marriage, divorce, and a second marriage – her journey from being the first wife to the other wife. The Other Wife is a look into the directions in which those seven steps take a person and the ways in which a life repents them. It is also a breathtaking, deeply affecting collection that deals with one woman’s struggle to find an identity for herself.


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