A sensitive husband of a high caste family is used to a domestic economy run by his wife. Everything he wants is provided for him with skill and assured regularity; even her comforting smile is always there when he needs it. Once home he no longer has to worry. Nor does he have to think. His house a place of comfort and solicitude. It is the women do all the difficult things. A beautiful wife is like a finely decorated sofa, practical and pretty, and always ready to take her husband’s weight. Ummmm! zzzzzzzzz…. Within such a strict division of labour a man can express his identity, which is an essentially public one, without reserve or resistance. His honour exists outside the home, and gives him a high status within it, even though he relinquishes all authority there; the wife the éminence grise of the family fireside. Conflict occurs only when the husband can no longer satisfy its needs; the danger of old age, exemplified by Subrata’s father, who pollutes the atmosphere with his failure and his dissatisfaction.
(Review of Mahanagar: The Big City)