Banyan PavilionIndian Writing
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“Banyan Pavilion” was born out of what Anuthama calls her ‘sudden awakening’ when she entered adulthood—the seemingly ignorant, unlettered, old-fashioned sticklers for tradition that her old grandmothers and aunts appeared to be revealed themselves as storehouses of sagacity, diplomacy, wit and worldly knowledge. Snatches of their conversations would fly out of her memory and gem-set themselves on current problems, offering relevant solutions. This was an eye-opener.85 year old Sethu Paati of “Banyan Pavilion” epitomizes all these women, chiselled by experience into perfect icons. Travelling from the smoke-ridden kitchen at the back of the house to the bright space of the front verandah, Sethu Paati now soaks in the sights and smells of the street, now takes an introspective dip into the past. Yet at all times, she, like Anuthama, is a keen and involved observer of the play of human nature, very much aware of the undercurrents within her home, waiting patiently to instruct and advise.A heart-warming portrayal of four generations of diverse human beings under one roof. Bonding with each one of them, holding them all together while providing shelter and support, is the frail yet indomitable Sethu Paati, the banyan tree of this absorbing narrative.