Ayush Antiwal

Ayush Antiwal

Summary of Clear Light of Day By Anita Desai

The Domestic Fictional Novel “Clear Light of Day” is written by famous Indian novelist Anita Desai and it was originally published in 1980. The story of the novel is set in old Delhi of India and it centres around a life of Das’s family.

Clear Light of Day By Anita Desai
Summary of Clear Light of Day By Anita Desai

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Summary of Clear Light of Day By Anita Desai

Anita Desai’s “Clear Light of Day” follows a life of Das’s family which is made up of two brothers and two sisters. The book is divided into four parts. The first part of novel talks about a present life of Das’ family. The second part takes us into the past life of Das family. The third part goes more into the past as it talks about the childhood life of a family. 

Synopsis of Clear Light of Day

The story begins with the main character, Bimla, an eldest sister of the family who is a history teacher. She is not married and still lives in her parents house. After Bimla comes Raja, a first younger brother who is a successful lawyer by profession. Raja doesn’t live with Bimla as he lives in Hyderabad with his wife. There comes Tara, a younger sister who is married to America’s Indian ambassador named Bakul. The youngest brother of Bimla is Baba, who is mentally unstable and lives with Bimla only. 

The story now shifts focus to a life of Raja, whose daughter is going to get married. Therefore, Raja sends marriage invitations to both of his sisters, Bimla and Tara. To attend her brother, Raja’s daughter’s marriage, Tara comes to India from Washington with her husband. Tara comes to India and stays in her eldest sister, Bimla’s house.

Afterwards, Tara asks Bimla to go to Raja’s daughter’s wedding with her. Bimla clearly says no to Tara that she is not going with her in Raja’s daughter’s marriage. Bimla had a good bond with her brother, Raja but not anymore. It is because of one letter sent by Raja to Bimla which made her very angry with Raja. This is the first part of a novel which tells us about the present life of the Das family. 

Let’s dive into the second part which is going to show us the adolescent period of the Das family. The second part begins with 1947, Bim and Raja have a good bond and they all are living together in a rented house of landlord, Haider Ali. Raja had a great interest in Urdu language and this interest of him attracted Haider Ali towards him. Haider invited Raja to his home to show him an Urdu poems collection and books. As Raja was passionate about Urdu language, he choses Urdu as his primary language over Hindi. He also started studying in Islamic college. During this period, Bim’s mother died of illness and father died by horrific accident. 

After a few days, Bim learns about Raja who is suffering from tuberculosis as he was sick for many weeks. Afterwards, Bim took great care of her brother, Raja. The story now jumps to Tara, who used to spend lots of time in her neighbour’s house. She met Bakul in her neighbour’s house only. Bimla was against the relationship of Bakul and Tara as he was very arrogant. Tara ignores her sister’s advice, marries Bakul and shifts to another city. 

As time passes, Raja recovers from Tuberculosis and goes to Hyderabad to meet Haider Ali. Raja had a love affair with Haider Ali’s daughter and as he goes to Hyderabad, he marries Ali’s daughter. After some time, Haider Ali died and all the property of him came under Raja’s control. Afterwards, Raja wrote one letter to his sister, Bimla in which he tells her that he will still take rent from her but won’t increase it any time.

This letter of Raja made Bimla very angry with him and since then she stopped talking to him. Bimla was angry on Raja because when Raja was sick, she took great care of him. But her brother forgot everything which Bimla has done for him and now he still wants rent from her even after Haider death.

Let’s start the third part which is going to take us into the childhood life of Das’ family. The third part starts from Bimla, Raja and Tara who are waiting for their brother, Baba to be born. When Baba was born, he was mentally unstable. When Baba’s parents learn about his mental illness, they invite his aunt Mira to their home. Mira was very close to Bimla and to her brother and sister. Bimla, Raja and Tara were close to each other when they were children. Bimla and Raja used to tease their younger sister, Tara. 

The story now jumps to the fourth part which takes us into a present life of Das’s family. Tara is in Bimla’s home convincing her to go to Raja’s daughter’s marriage with her. As Tara spends time with Bimla, she learns about her struggle and courage. She realises how much her elder sister, Bimla has struggles in life. Afterwards, Tara leaves for Raja’s daughter’s marriage. At the end of story, as Tara was leaving for marriage, Bimla stops her and tells her that she is ready to forgive Raja but first asks him to meet me in our home. 

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