Having been shortlisted for the Booker Prize thrice, it is but natural that Anita Desai, holidaying with her brother's family in Dehradun, is "happy and excited" that her daughter has won the prestigious award. But at the same time she is embarrassed by Kiran's compliments.
Accepting the award in London, Kiran had said, "I owe a debt so profound and so great that this book, The Inheritance of Loss feels as much hers (Anita's) as it does mine. It was written in her company and in her wisdom and kindness."
But while she is happy at such admiring comments, the proud mother feels that instead of lauding her, Kiran should have talked about her own life and writing in her acceptance speech as it was her moment of glory.
"It's very nice to hear her praise me, but at the same time I am also embarrassed at her compliments mentioning my contributions. She could have instead talked about her experiences and her writing," she told Hindustan Times.
Although the daughter mentions about her mother's contribution in shaping her writings, Anita feels that apart from being a companion and friend she has not influenced Kiran's works in any manner.
"In the past seven years, we have lived and traveled a lot together. But I have never tried to influence her works in any manner. Her writing is her own and as a writer I am impressed by the sheer craftsmanship of The Inheritance of Loss," she said.
Comparing Kiran's first novel Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard with her second, Anita said that although her talent, humour, wit and irony were evident in the first, The Inheritance of Loss is much more complex and skillfully written.
The bookmakers might have initially dismissed Kiran's novel as an unlikely contender to beat favourite Sarah Waters The Night Watch, but mother Anita was very confident about the final outcome.
"I was sure that she would win, partly because she is my daughter and partly because it's a great novel. Had that not happened, I would have been terribly disappointed," said Anita.