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Showing posts from February, 2016

The Cambridge Curry Club - Saumya Balsari

I have always been in awe of Oxford and Cambridge as they are home to universities that define the pinnacle of academic success. To have one of these University ‘towns’ depicted in a book by an Indian author was extremely inviting especially during my first year of having moved to the UK as a University student.
Saumya Balsari’s depiction of Cambridge is vivid in imagery and the opening line of the book, “The sly October wind tore through Cambridge, boldly lifting the prim skirt of the Junior Bursar as her court shoes, indignant at a male colleague’s promotion, clicked briskly through a college archway to meet the waiting porters and bedmakers” is evidence enough.
The book revolves around a charity shop called India Need located on a popular street in Cambridge called Mill Road. The characters consist of three South Asian women with their unique personalities and an Irish lady, all of whom work at India Need. The charity shop is owned by an English woman named Lady Di by the staff and…

The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri

I was pleased to find this book nestling on a corner shelf in my local bookstore and the fact that it addresses one of my most favourite themes of immigrant/cross cultural literature made the decision of buying this book a rhetoric one.  
People leaving their home land to seek livelihoods in different countries, often across continents, is a notion that I find very interesting not only because it fills me with hope but also because it gives me greater insight into how people adapt and assimilate into their adopted countries.
The Namesake is set in an era distinct from today where we take technology for granted. It takes you back in time when the modes of communication across countries relied on a precious telephone call or in most cases a cryptic telegram.  The book transpires between Calcutta (India) and Massachusetts (America) and begins with a Bengali couple Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli moving to America as they leave behind the comfort of home and routine.  They are newlyweds and alon…