VIDEHI by Charles Leslie Holden


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Mr. Holden has written a book that is technically fiction but which has its true purpose and essence in showing the Indian way of life, at once perennial and changing in a world where East and West have met. The place of women receives central attention in the story of Videhi and her family -- her mother, who had married in the modern fashion for love still found a compulsion to fit to the old Hindu ways which her husband upheld and which gave her comfort in a hard world. Videhi herself is party to a family arranged marriage which she refuses to consummate. Instead, she departs from her middle class family to the Delhi University, where she meets young people eager to modernize India and a lover who dies. Replete with beauty as a woman and skill as a doctor, Videhi goes forth only to return to her husband, for she has grown to a willingness to accept the old ways with a new heart. Interesting principally as a study rather than as a story, this is a revealing if sometimes somewhat distant portrait of an eternally evolving synthesis of the traditional and the modern in Indian life.

Pub Date: May 14th, 1953
Publisher: St. Martin's Press