Pity mingled with scorn

Rupa Gulab’s ‘ Daddy Come Lately is Young Adult Fiction, first published in 2006 as Chip of the Old Blockhead. It looks at divorce and a single parent family from a teenager’s point of view. Well actually it’s simply a teenager’s point of view in which her single parent family is incidental to her life filled with school, teachers, boys, fights with her friend and irritation at adults. That’s as it should be. This realistic portrayal makes for a light and refreshing read.

I am delighted by the following author interview –


MG: What I liked about the book was that you spoke about a normal single parent family. Was this a plot-driven device or a conscious choice?

RG: It was a conscious choice. I wanted to make it a single parent family for two very important reasons (well, important to me). The first is, I’m sick and tired of our Indian hypocritical society: a woman must have a man in her life (ew), and I hate the looks of pity mingled with scorn directed at divorced women. The second reason is, I know a few children from broken homes, and I wanted to tell them, it’s okay – my heroine was happy and centred with a single parent, so can you be. Also, while both your parents may be lovely individuals, sometimes they can be dreadful together, so a divorce is not necessarily a bad thing.

I must add this: a few months ago, I got a friendship request and a message on Facebook from a seventeen-year-old who said she’d just read the book and loved it, and that someone had given it to her a few years ago (Daddy Come Lately was published in 2006 as Chip of the Old Blockhead) but she didn’t read it then because it was on the subject of divorce and she thought she was too young for it! My jaw dropped to my knees when I read her message. But there you are – that’s Indian society for you!

You can read the entire interview at http://theduckbillblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/rupa-gulab-interviewed-by-moushumi-ghosh/

Rupa has hit the nail on the head about how Indian society views divorce. I absolutely love that she decided to write about divorce as though it’s perfectly normal. Some people have curly hair, some have a tendency to allergies and some get divorced. Deal with it.


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About Kalpana

Trying to change the world one blog post at a time. I write. It's the best thing I can do. I am the Hanged Man, the Fool, the sometime Magician. Whether I travel in my imagination or in real life I write about it and show you pictures either through my photography or through the pictures I paint with my words. I read books and write fiction. During working hours I teach English as an Additional Language. I edit.

Posted on March 28, 2014, in Divorce and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You’re so right – we need to bother about this society! My latest blog post Stop Sacrificing Your Happiness will resonate with you 🙂

  2. Pity on this society ,it looks scornfully at the girl who comes late from the office , it criticizes the mother who joins her office leaving behind her 3 month-old baby ( what bitch , she should have sacrificed her career ) it gossips about the woman who loves to have fum with her friends who , unfortunate , are boys …so no wonder that the society would behave in this way with a divorced woman ( not with a divorced man ) as if she is contaminated. Need not to bother about this society…

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