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Clear Light of Day centers around the conflicted relationship of Tara and Bim, two Indian sisters who have made very different choices in life. Tara, the wife of a succesful though demanding diplomat, returns to her childhood town in Old Delhi, where it appears that nothing has changed. There, she reconnects with her sister Bim, who stayed in India to tend the family business and look after their mentally retarded brother Baba. As Tara and Bim deal with the tensions in their relationship and the political and social changes of their community, Baba seems oblivious to it all. Baba plays the same handful of 1940's English language records over and over again throughout the day. Baba represents the mental, emotional and social stagnation that occurs when you refurse to move forward in life. He is stuck in the past and unable to address the needs of his own present. Baba is not equipped with the emotional or mental tools to make his life better. Instead, he must depend on the sense of duty or charity of those around him (Bim in particular). Not dealing with the pain of one's own past, or the uncertainty of one's own future, leads to regression to a child-like state of helplessness. Baba serves as a constant reminder of that unpleasant possibility.
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