I would wake up in the hot Calcutta dark and the sound of her weeping would be all around me, pressing in, wave upon wave, until I could no longer tell where it was coming from. Which only made her cry more. So after some time I learned to lie rigid and unmoving under the bedsheet, plugging my fingers into my ears to block out her sobs. And if I closed my eyes very tight and held them that way long enough, little dots of light would appear against my eyelids and I could almost pretend I was among the stars.
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Start your review of Arranged Marriage Write a review Shelves: anthologies There is not one Indian male character who is shown in a positive light in this book. However there is a reason for this and I must say it is rightly so. We regularly tend to assume that times have changed for women in India and we are making progress.
However, for most of us, our idea of these changing times dwells from the narrow view of the upper middle class society that we live in. For most of the small town and rural women which is where most There is not one Indian male character who is shown in a positive light in this book. For most of the small town and rural women which is where most people still live in India , the tyranny of a life bound by the constraints placed by the males around them is real and exists.
Arranged Marriage poignantly highlights many of these situations and frustations that Indian women live through. It talks about things which are so rampant, even the most enlightend, educated Indian would call them cliches.
But cliches they are not. The truth is that there are overt and subtle forms of roles cast on women as soon as they are born, that is if they are allowed to be born at all. Since the book is a collection of stories, it is definitely an easy read.
There are many which I could connect with immensely as an immigrant who has been exposed to a different, maybe more liberated kind of environment, one in which premium is given to decision made on the basis of pure choice and not necessarily necessity. Chitra Divakaruni writes with passion. There is a pain in her stories which seem to be borne out of experience. The stories are based in the San Francisco Bay Area and this makes it even more closer to my heart. The nooks and crannies of this place, the grocery stores, the parks, the apartment complexes are the stage for these episodes and I can visualize myself there, thinking similar thoughts.
In particular, there were a few stories which mirrored my life to the tee and hence, provided an outlet to my internal dilemmas. This is an easy read. I finished this in the half the flight time from Chicago to San Francisco leaving me wondering what to do with the rest of the time.
However it is worth reading for every ignorant Indian man living the blubber of his self-created chauvanism. There is a lot to be done and assuming progress is not helping. Finally it is a book for the immigrants. Because not only are we a much maligned people, but also most misunderstood. The situations we place ourselves in and the choices we made in our lives places us in a unique situation where we are forced to contend with enormous complications. But inherent in these complications is an opportunity to grow and expand beyond mere stuckup cultural norms and live a confusing yet highly fulfilling life.
You can smell the plot from miles away. Divakaruni repeats incessantly. And then the stereotypes pour in: the Another derivative piece of literature from another unoriginal South Asian female author. And then the stereotypes pour in: the nostalgia of India, the mention of curries, the cold and misogynist Indian husbands read: males , the charming knight in shining armor read: Caucasian male who "save" them from their cold and misogynist Indian husbands The repeat was intentional As I read these books, I sometimes wonder if these writers know each other and perhaps vowed at one point to churn out trite and predictable novels one after another?
Rohinton Mistry comes to mind.
Arranged Marriage (1995)
Arranged marriage : stories
Arranged Marriage by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni ePub Download
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