Ayush Antiwal

Ayush Antiwal

Summary of Cry the Peacock By Anita Desai

The novel “Cry the peacock” is written by famous Indian woman author Kiran Desai and it was originally published on 1963. Cry, the peacock is a first novel of Kiran Desai and it was awarded with Sahitya Akademi Award in 1963.


Cry the Peacock By Anita Desai Summary


Summary of Cry the Peacock By Anita Desai

Anita Desai’s “Cry the Peacock” revolves around a girl named Maya, a daughter of Rai Sahib who is well known advocate in Lucknow located in Uttar Pradesh. Maya belongs to super rich family; she has one brother named Arjun who is living in America to complete his graduation. Maya is a loving daughter of Rai Sahib; he spends all his quality time with his caring daughter. He always tries to fulfil her daughter wishes no matter what it is and always take care of his daughter.

The mother of Maya died a long time ago, since then her father is everything for her as he has taken care of her like mother. The story now features new character named Gautam, a good and very loyal friend of Maya’s father who sometimes behaves like an arrogant person. The thinking of Maya and Gautam is very different because of a huge difference in their age but still Maya’s father married her to Gautam.

Gautam is a spiritual person whereas Maya is a materialistic woman and he failed to satisfy her in bed as he is very older for Maya. Before marriage Maya used to be a very happy and passionate woman but after marriage her life is like hell because Gautam neither take care of her and nor give her proper attention.

The story now introduces new characters, a mother and sister of Gautam who visits their home once in a week or sometimes once in a month and whenever they visit Maya’s home, she gets some relief from her loneliness and sadness. The problem occurs when the pet dog of Maya named Toto died which makes her completely gloomy but for Gautam it’s not a big deal because he believes it’s just a dog which she can easily replace with another pet dog.

As the story move forward, we learn that Maya goes into depression as she wants someone who can take care of her and give her full attention. Like every girl, Maya had dreams and expectation from her husband, but all her dreams died with Gautam, who does not care for her and neither give her pleasure in bed which is a basic need of every married woman. As the season of monsoon comes every single peacock cry and dance in rain to attract male peacock, whenever Maya saw any peacock dancing, she saw herself in a situation of peacock who is craving for her partner.

The author believes only women can understand the pain of other women, but Maya’s mother died a long time ago so she has no one to share her painful stories which she can’t share with her father. She wants someone who can take care of her, someone with whom she can share all her pain and other stories.

The story now jumps to a past life of Maya, who before marriage goes to an astrologer who predicted that after four years of her marriage, one member from her family will die because of which Maya is very unhappy as she believes that she will die after four years of marriage.

The story now jumps to present where Maya goes on the roof of their home with her husband, and they talk for a while but suddenly she pushes Gautam from roof due to which he died on the spot. She freed herself from arrogant husband who was not fit for her from the starting of their marriage. Afterwards, the mother and sister of late Gautam comes, and they send Maya to her father’s home.

The story of novel ends with Maya whose father send her to mental hospital for her mental health care.

Recommended Reading

The Inheritance of Loss By Kiran Desai

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