About the Book
When fifty-something Naina Mehta¹s husband unexpectedly dies of a heart attack, this imaginative suburban wife turns into a bold woman thirsty for new experiences, a far cry from the classic image of the aging Indian widow dressed in subdued colors and focused solely on her children and God.
Woman of an Uncertain Age explores the rocky, uncertain terrain of middle age in a contemporary setting, a time when the parameters and ideas of midlife are being challenged. What does being it mean to be a fifty-plus woman with grown children in such an environment? Especially for Naina, who comes from a culture where life has traditionally been expected to follow a chronological trajectory divided into four stages–student, householder, retiree, and ascetic–according to ancient Hindu texts.
Naina also grew up in a society where historically widows have been expected to abandon all pleasure, particularly remarriage, and, in extreme cases, have even had to give up eating sweets. Even today, and even in the U.S., it is rare for Indian widows with grown-up children to date, remarry, or reinvent themselves, which makes Naina¹s foray into such territory groundbreaking.