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Micro review: ‘Milk Teeth’ establishes aerospace engineer Amrita Mahale as a prominent voice in Indian literature

By January 3, 2019No Comments

Source : Times of India

Amrita Mahale’s debut novel Milk Teeth is not a story you expect from an aerospace engineer, who worked in management consulting and technology start-ups for nearly a decade. It is about Mumbai, a city where the author did not grow up in, but a place that resides in her heart. Set in the 1990s, Milk Teeth chronicles the changing trends of Mumbai’s Matunga and the lives of old neighbours and childhood friends Ira Kamat and Kartik Kini.

Mahale’s story sprouted from the idea of a prophecy that predicted that Kartik and Ira would get married one day, even though there is one grave secret that could turn out to be the biggest hindrance to the prophecy. The novel comes out at an important time when the Supreme Court ruled out section 377, a law that criminalised homosexual
relationships. Ira, who grows up to be a journalist and pushes back her memories with Kartik, whereas Kartik has a corporate job, and leads a secret life, struggling to come to terms with the overbearing societal norms that shove his identity into dark corners, shaping his life decisions.

Written with a sharp subtlety and tremendous empathy, Amrita’s book has some occasional stereotypes from romcoms when it comes to characterisation. But the story is much bigger than its characters and that is where the author shines. Milk Teeth captures the zeitgeist that encapsulated 1990s Mumbai and the trials and tribulations of people whose lives turned topsy-turvy in scurried moments. It certainly establishes Amrita Mahale as a prominent voice in Indian literature.

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