Download In Custody by Anita Desai: A Masterpiece of Post-Colonial Literature in EPUB Format
In Custody by Anita Desai: A Novel of Cultural Conflict and Identity Crisis
In Custody is a novel by Indian writer Anita Desai, first published in 1984. It tells the story of Deven Sharma, a Hindi teacher who is assigned to interview Nur, a famous Urdu poet, for a literary magazine. However, Deven soon finds himself entangled in Nur's chaotic and decadent world, where he faces various challenges and dilemmas regarding his own cultural identity and personal aspirations. In Custody is a novel that explores the themes of language, culture, tradition, and modernity in post-colonial India. It also reflects Desai's own experience as a bilingual writer who writes in English but grew up speaking Hindi and German. In this article, we will provide a summary, an analysis, a review, and a critique of In Custody by Anita Desai. We will also show you how to download this novel in EPUB format, which is one of the best formats for reading e-books.
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The Plot of In Custody: A Summary
In Custody follows the journey of Deven Sharma, a middle-aged Hindi teacher who lives in Mirpore, a small town in northern India. He is unhappy with his job, his marriage, his finances, and his lack of prospects. He dreams of becoming a poet or a critic, but he feels trapped by his circumstances. One day, he receives a phone call from Murad, an old friend who works as an editor for a literary magazine in Delhi. Murad offers him an opportunity to interview Nur, a legendary Urdu poet who lives in Delhi. Deven is thrilled by this chance to meet his idol and to escape his mundane life. He agrees to take on the assignment, even though he has no experience or equipment for conducting an interview.
Deven travels to Delhi with high hopes and expectations. However, he soon realizes that Nur is not what he imagined. Nur is old, sick, alcoholic, and surrounded by sycophants and rivals who exploit him for money and fame. His house is dilapidated, filthy, and crowded with people who make noise and cause trouble. Deven is shocked and disappointed by Nur's condition, but he still tries to complete his task. He attempts to record Nur's voice on a tape recorder that he borrowed from his college, but he faces many difficulties and obstacles. He has to deal with Nur's whims, demands, and insults. He has to cope with Nur's two wives, who are constantly fighting and competing for his attention. He has to fend off Nur's enemies, who are plotting to sabotage his interview. He also has to avoid Murad's schemes, who is trying to profit from Nur's fame and reputation.
Deven spends several days and nights in Nur's house, hoping to capture his poetry and wisdom on tape. He neglects his family, his job, and his health. He spends all his money and borrows more from his friends and relatives. He risks his reputation and his career. He becomes obsessed with Nur and his poetry, even though he does not understand Urdu very well. He also develops a friendship with Siddiqui, Nur's secretary and biographer, who shares his admiration and respect for the poet. Deven feels a sense of belonging and fulfillment in Nur's world, which he considers more authentic and meaningful than his own.
However, Deven's dream soon turns into a nightmare. He discovers that Nur is not only a poet, but also a human being with flaws and weaknesses. He realizes that Nur's poetry is not only beautiful, but also tragic and painful. He learns that Nur's life is not only glorious, but also miserable and hopeless. He witnesses Nur's decline and death, which are hastened by his alcoholism, illness, and despair. He also realizes that he has been used and betrayed by Murad, who sold his tapes to a rival magazine without his consent. He returns to Mirpore with nothing but a broken tape recorder and a broken heart.
In the end, Deven is left with no money, no job, no family, no friends, and no future. He is also left with no identity, as he feels alienated from both Hindi and Urdu cultures. He is haunted by Nur's voice and poetry, which he can neither forget nor understand. He is in custody of a legacy that he cannot claim or honor.
The Themes of In Custody: An Analysis
In Custody is a novel that explores the themes of language, culture, tradition, and modernity in post-colonial India. It shows how these themes affect the lives and identities of the characters, especially Deven and Nur.
The clash of cultures and languages
One of the main themes of In Custody is the clash of cultures and languages in India, especially between Hindi and Urdu. Hindi and Urdu are two languages that share a common origin, but have diverged over time due to political, religious, and social factors. Hindi is associated with Hinduism, nationalism, and progress, while Urdu is associated with Islam, imperialism, and decline. The novel depicts how this linguistic divide creates conflicts and tensions among the characters, who have different affiliations and preferences.
For example, Deven is a Hindi teacher who loves Urdu poetry. He feels torn between his loyalty to his profession and his passion for his hobby. He also feels insecure about his knowledge and skills in both languages. He is not fluent in Urdu, which makes him feel inferior and inadequate in front of Nur and his followers. He is also not respected in Hindi, which makes him feel frustrated and dissatisfied in his job. Deven is unable to reconcile his dual identity as a Hindi speaker and an Urdu lover.
Nur is an Urdu poet who lives in a Hindi-dominated society. He feels isolated and marginalized by the changes that have occurred in India after independence. He feels that Urdu is losing its status and value as a language of culture and literature. He also feels that his poetry is losing its audience and relevance as a form of art and expression. Nur is unable to adapt to the new reality of India as a modern nation-state.
The loss of tradition and heritage
Another theme of In Custody is the loss of tradition and heritage in India due to modernization and globalization. The novel shows how the characters struggle to preserve their cultural legacy in the face of change and decay.
For example, Deven wants to save Nur's voice and poetry from oblivion by recording them on tape. He believes that Nur is the last representative of a dying tradition of Urdu poetry that dates back to the Mughal era. He wants to document Nur's work for posterity and posterity for future generations who may not have access or interest in it. Deven sees himself as a custodian of Nur's heritage.
The struggle for self-expression and identity
A third theme of In Custody is the struggle for self-expression and identity in India, where the characters face various constraints and pressures from their society and themselves. The novel shows how the characters try to find their voice and their place in a complex and diverse country.
For example, Deven wants to express himself as a poet or a critic, but he is hindered by his lack of talent, confidence, and opportunity. He is also influenced by his family, his friends, and his colleagues, who have different expectations and opinions of him. He is constantly torn between his personal desires and his social obligations. Deven is unable to realize his potential and his dreams.
Nur wants to express himself as a poet, but he is hampered by his physical, mental, and emotional condition. He is also affected by his wives, his followers, and his enemies, who have different agendas and motives for him. He is constantly manipulated and exploited by others for their own benefit. Nur is unable to control his fate and his legacy.
The Style of In Custody: A Review
In Custody is a novel that showcases Anita Desai's skill and creativity as a writer. The novel has a distinctive style that reflects its themes and characters. Some of the features of the style are:
The use of multiple perspectives and voices
The novel is narrated by a third-person omniscient narrator who can access the thoughts and feelings of all the characters. However, the narrator also switches between different points of view and focalizes the story through different characters. For example, some chapters are told from Deven's perspective, while others are told from Nur's perspective. This technique allows the reader to see the same events and situations from different angles and to understand the motivations and emotions of different characters.
The novel also uses various voices and languages to represent the diversity and complexity of India. The novel includes dialogues in Hindi, Urdu, English, and Punjabi, which are sometimes translated and sometimes left untranslated. The novel also incorporates poems by Nur and other Urdu poets, which are written in the original script and in transliteration. The novel also uses different registers and tones to convey the mood and personality of the characters. For example, Nur's voice is poetic, eloquent, and sarcastic, while Deven's voice is plain, simple, and earnest.
The use of humor and irony
The novel is not only a serious and realistic portrayal of India, but also a humorous and ironic commentary on it. The novel uses humor and irony to highlight the absurdity and contradiction of the situations and characters. For example, Deven's interview with Nur is full of comic mishaps and misunderstandings that undermine his expectations and aspirations. Deven's tape recorder becomes a symbol of his failure and frustration as it malfunctions or gets damaged repeatedly. Nur's house becomes a stage for a farcical drama that exposes his decadence and decline. Nur's poetry becomes a source of mockery and ridicule as it is distorted or misinterpreted by others.
The use of symbolism and imagery
The novel is not only a literal and factual description of India, but also a symbolic and figurative representation of it. The novel uses symbolism and imagery to convey the deeper meaning and significance of the events and characters. For example, Nur's house is a symbol of the state of Urdu culture and literature in India. It is old, crumbling, and neglected, but also rich, colorful, and lively. It is a place of beauty and decay, of order and chaos, of harmony and conflict. It is a microcosm of India itself. Nur's poetry is an image of his soul and his identity. It is sublime, profound, and expressive, but also bitter, painful, and incomprehensible. It is a reflection of his life and his legacy. It is a testament to his genius and his tragedy.
The novel also uses symbolism and imagery to evoke the emotions and sensations of the readers. The novel creates a vivid and realistic picture of India by using sensory details and descriptive language. The novel appeals to the sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch of the readers by using words that capture the colors, noises, odors, flavors, and textures of India. The novel also uses metaphors and similes to compare and contrast different aspects of India. For example, Deven compares Nur's voice to a bird's song, a flute's music, and a river's flow. He also compares Nur's house to a zoo, a circus, and a battlefield.
The Reception of In Custody: A Critique
In Custody is a novel that has received both praise and criticism from critics and readers. The novel has been recognized as one of Anita Desai's best works and as one of the most important novels about India in English. The novel has also been awarded and nominated for several prestigious prizes, such as the Booker Prize in 1984 and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1999. The novel has also been adapted into a film in 1994 by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, starring Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Om Puri, and Sushma Seth.
However, the novel has also been criticized for some of its aspects and implications. Some critics have argued that the novel is too pessimistic and bleak in its portrayal of India and its people. They have claimed that the novel does not offer any hope or solution for the problems that it depicts. They have also suggested that the novel is too biased and partial in its representation of Hindi and Urdu cultures and languages. They have accused the novel of favoring Urdu over Hindi and of romanticizing Nur over Deven. They have also questioned the authenticity and accuracy of the novel as a depiction of India by an Indian writer who writes in English.
How to Download In Custody by Anita Desai in EPUB Format
If you are interested in reading In Custody by Anita Desai, you may want to download it in EPUB format. EPUB is one of the best formats for reading e-books because it has many advantages over other formats. In this section, we will explain why you should choose EPUB format over other formats for reading e-books. We will also show you how to download In Custody by Anita Desai in EPUB format in a few simple steps.
The Benefits of EPUB Format for E-books
EPUB stands for Electronic Publication. It is an open standard format for e-books that can be read on various devices and platforms. EPUB format has many benefits for e-books that make it superior to other formats such as PDF or MOBI. Some of these benefits are:
Compatibility with various devices and platforms
Customization of font size, layout, and appearance
EPUB format allows the reader to customize the font size, layout, and appearance of the e-book according to their preferences and needs. EPUB format adapts to the screen size and resolution of the device and adjusts the text and images accordingly. EPUB format also enables the reader to change the font type, color, background, and brightness of the e-book. EPUB format gives the reader more control and comfort over their reading experience.
Accessibility and readability features
EPUB format provides accessibility and readability features for e-books that make them more user-friendly and inclusive. EPUB format supports text-to-speech and audio narration for e-books that can help people with visual impairments or reading difficulties. EPUB format also supports metadata and navigation for e-books that can help people with cognitive impairments or learning disabilities. EPUB format also supports bookmarks, annotations, highlights, and search functions for e-books that can help people with different reading styles and purposes.
The Steps to Download In Custody by Anita Desai in EPUB Format
If you want to download In Custody by Anita Desai in EPUB format, you need to follow these steps:
Find a reliable and legal source of the e-book. There are many websites that offer free or paid downloads of e-books in various formats. However, not all of them are trustworthy or legitimate. Some of them may contain viruses, malware, or pirated content that can harm your device or violate the author's rights. Therefore, you need to be careful and selective when choosing a source of the e-book. You can use online reviews, ratings, recommendations, or testimonials to find a reputable and safe website that provides e-books in EPUB format.
Choose the EPUB format option and click on the download link. Once you have found a source of the e-book that you trust and like, you need to select the EPUB format option from the available formats. EPUB format is usually indicated by an icon that resembles a book with an "e" on it. After you have chosen the EPUB format option, you need to click on the download link that will direct you to the download page or process. You may need to create an account, sign in, or provide some information before you can download the e-book.
Transfer the e-book to your preferred device or app. After you have downloaded the e-book in EPUB format, you need to transfer it to your preferred device or app that supports EPUB format. You can use a USB cable, a wireless connection, or a cloud service to transfer the e-book from your computer to your smartphone, tablet, or e-reader. You can also use an app such as Google Play Books, Apple Books, or Kindle to read the e-book on your device. You may need to sync or import the e-book to your app before you can open it.
In this article, we have provided a comprehensive guide on In Custody by Anita Desai. We have given you a summary, an analysis, a review, and a critique of this novel. We have also shown you how to download this novel in EPUB format, which is one of the best formats for reading e-books. We hope that this article has helped you learn more about this novel and enjoy reading it.
If you are interested in reading more novels by Anita Desai or other Indian writers in English, you can check out these websites that offer free or paid downloads of e-books in various formats:
Amazon.com: Anita Desai: Books
Anita Desai (Author of In Custody)
Anita Desai Open Library
Anita Desai Penguin Random House
Anita Desai - ManyBooks
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Here are some frequently asked questions about In Custody by Anita Desai and their answers:
What is the genre of In Custody by Anita Desai?
In Custody by Anita Desai is a novel that belongs to the genre of post-colonial literature. Post-colonial literature is a type of literature that deals with the effects and consequences of colonialism and decolonization on the colonized countries and peoples. Post-colonial literature often explores the themes of identity, culture, language, power, and resistance in relation to the colonial past and the post-colonial present.
Who is Anita Desai and what are some of her other works?
Anita Desai is an Indian writer who writes in English. She was born in 1937 in Mussoorie, India, to a German mother and an Indian father. She studied English literature at Delhi University and began writing at an early age. She has published several novels, short stories, essays, and children's books. Some of her most famous works are Fire on the Mountain (1977), Clear Light of Day (1980), Fasting, Feasting (1999), and The Artist of Disappearance (2011). She has won several awards and honors for her writing, such as the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Shri, and the Royal Society of Literature's Companion of Literature.
What is the difference between Hindi and Urdu languages?
Hindi and Urdu are two languages that share a common origin, but have diverged over time due to political, religious, and social factors. Hindi and Urdu are both derived from Hindustani, a language that developed from Sanskrit and Persian during the medieval period in India. However, Hindi and Urdu have different scripts, vocabularies, grammars, and registers. Hindi uses the Devanagari script and borrows words from Sanskrit and other Indian languages. Urdu uses the Perso-Arabic script and borrows words from Persian and Arabic. Hindi is associated with Hinduism, nationalism, and progress, while Urdu is associated with Islam, imperialism, and decline.
What is EPUB format and why is it better than other formats for e-books?
Accessibility and readability features
EPUB format provides accessibility and readability features for e-books that mak