Traditional Hindu Elements in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss

by Maria Camilla Di Tullio

This paper offers an Indological interpretation of Kiran Desai’s novel The Inheritance of Loss analysing behaviours and dynamics that are even more meaningful in the light of Hindu ethics. Among the Hindu principles lurking behind the story, the most evident are the sin of samudrayana connected to the ocean voyage; the overlooking of dharma leading to the misfortune of some of the characters; the existential balance between opposites; the mythological Mount Meru represented by Mount Kanchenjunga; finally, the veil of Maya suggested by the constant presence of mist.