Aranya is chaotic.
Ishan is a family person.
Aranya questions the idea of family.
Ishan is spiritual.
Aranya a feminist.
Now I know what you are thinking: that this is just going to be some modern run-of-the-mill opposites attract love story.
Because Music in Solitude by Krishna Sobti, translated from Hindi by Vasudha Dalmia, is not a love story, but rather a loving tale of two elderly individuals, Ishan and Aranya, who are in the autumn of their lives and yes you guessed it, are complete opposites. Yet it is their age and the life that that brings along in it’s wake, which helps them come together. Not to mention that they stay in the same building in Delhi!
Originally titled as Samay Sargam, the novel stitches together episodes from the two protagonists’ lives. Especially the time spent together discussing myriad topics over tea, lunches or dinners!