Anita Desai 's Clear Light Of Day

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Escapism in Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day
Clear Light of Day, written by Anita Desai and published in 1980, tells the story of the siblings of the Das family living in Old Delhi. It tells the story of Bim, the eldest sister - a history professor and caretaker of Baba, their youngest, autistic brother. She is a spinster who seems to have been left behind by everyone. Headstrong, intelligent and apparently sure of her choices, it seems that Bim has had no desire to escape her life.
The novel also tells the story of Tara and of Raja, the two apparently more prosperous siblings, who both manage to escape the bleak atmosphere of the house; Tara through her marriage to Bakul, and Raja through his immersion in Urdu poetry and Islamic culture, his relationship with Hyder Ali, and consequently, his moving away to Hyderabad and marriage to Benazir.
Escapism plays a very important role in the story of Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day. The focus of this essay is to explore how this theme affects the relationship between Bim and Raja. Best friends and partners in crime, Bim and Raja share a love of literature and poetry, and are the closest of the four siblings. Eventually, however, Raja’s admiration of Hyder Ali leads him to Urdu poetry and an interest in Islamic culture, seeking an escape from the stifling, insipid atmosphere of his own home and life. What seems to have started as scholarly interest, and initially even draws Bim’s admiration, leads to Raja’s escape to Hyderabad to
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