Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
“The Lowland” by #JhumpaLahiri A captivating story of two brothers Subhash and Udayan set in the 1960s during the rise of naxalite movement in West Bengal. Even though Subhash and Udayan resemble each other, they have conflicting personalities. Subhash is silent and subdued; while Udayan is rebellious and demanding. Udayan is against the agrarian culture and is attracted by egalitarian ideologies. He becomes deeply drawn and becomes active member of the uprising naxalite movement and CPIM in Calcutta. Subhash on the other hand, leaves to US for his further studies.
Tragedy strikes their family, when Udayan is killed by paramilitary forces, in front of his parents and pregnant wife Gowri, for his involvement in naxalite movement.Subhash visits India trying to pick up ramshackle pieces of the tragedy that just ripped their family apart. He feels sorry for Gowri and entrusts himself with the responsibility of providing her a good life, by marrying her.
Back in Rhode Island, USA, Subhash selflessly strives his best to provide a great life to Gowri, and her new born daughter Bela, only to be abandoned selfishly by ungrateful Gowri to take up a teaching job in California.
Story emphasizes on Subhash’s sacrifice and selfless life which revolved around providing a great life to woman, who was his brother’s wife; a daughter and grand-daughter who weren’t his.