Rich Like Us

Rich Like UsNayantara SahgalHeinemann1985

From Wikipedia: Rich Like Us is a historical and political fiction novel by Nayantara Sahgal. Set in New Delhi during the chaotic time between 1932 and the mid-1970s, it follows the lives of two female protagonists, Rose and Sonali, and their fight to live in a time of political upheaval and social re-organization.

A philosopher I admire wrote that a coward is not a coward “on account of a cowardly heart or lungs or cerebrum … he is like that because he has made himself into a coward by his actions … A coward is defined by the deed he has done.” I would wake up sweating, throw off my sheet, and stare into the hot, empty darkness. What if there was a collective will to cowardice, when men and women in their millions, a whole nationful, did cowardly deeds? Was there a way out of that? And how naive the cast-iron idealism I had been brought up with, believing we were moderate, tolerant people, steeped in civilized ways. I should have been differently taught, told how casual we are about cruelty, depravity. I had grown to adulthood nourished on monumental lies.

Nayantara Sahgal in Rich Like Us