a baby on his mother's lap

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Senior Member

Do you think this part shall be read like this: this feeling is like the memory of falling asleep as a baby, on his mother's lap? Somehow, he remembered when he was a baby, falling asleep on his mother's lap?

"Biju stepped out of the airport into the Calcutta night, warm, mammalian. His feet sank into dust winnowed to softness at his feet, and he felt an unbearable feeling, sad and tender, old and sweet like the memory of falling asleep, a baby on his mother's lap."

Many thanks for your help.
It's part of Inheritance of Loss, a novel by Kiran Desai.
  • Oeco

    Senior Member
    English - US
    This is a marvelous simile that presumes "as" or "like". It's more poetic as it is. But if you were to put in like or as, you would not use a comma after baby.


    I think there is definitely a reference between mother and motherland: he is an Indian back on an Indian soil, and by putting his feet in the sand, or the motherland soil, his feeling of tenderness and warmth come back, the feeling of a child falling asleep on his mother's lap.
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