Book Review – A Good Indian Wife

 
When I first read the title of the book, I thought “A good Indian wife” was used in a satirical tone. And this thought was further strengthened when the protagonist Leila continually “pushed the envelope” by trying to express herself,and sometimes not do what is expected of her.

I liked the way the author describes Leila’s first few days in the country as “cold”. I found it to be both literal and metaphorical, as I also experienced it when I first moved to this country. Add to the fact that she had a new marriage and an arranged one at that.

Neel’s (the husband) character was very believable because of a few reasons namely, a) Inferiority complex of brown skin b) Believing that everything American was better and c) at the capability of Leila to adapt to his American life very quickly and on her own. He associated an “arranged marriage” girl to being timid and one unable to be at the helm of her own life. That in a way, is also the start of a relationship between them and if I may add, a new found respect for Leila’s confidence in herself, her brown skin and her “Indian-ness”. At one point Leila disagrees with something that Neel says and he finds that even though he is impressed by her ability to hold on to her own, he is also surprised at his own chauvinistic self.

While I could not identify with Leila at some places when she continues to be quiet about Neel’s affair, I could also totally believe her actions as she was torn between her desire to act her way or the way that was expected of her by the society. Most of the women born in the 80s and 90s can identify with her dilemmas as we are the generation caught between having seen patriarchy up close but also seen feminism being talked about in our drawing rooms.

I really liked the book for it’s easy read, and yet a good substance.My rating: 4/5
 

 

Hello, from the other side!

How do you greet your friends when you meet them after a really long time?

Do you acknowledge the time lapse and explain the reason for your absence? Or just pretend that nothing happened and 18 months is not really that long a time to be missing from one’s blog!
Ok so, I am not going to pretend and pickup from where I left because a lot has happened en route.

For starters, I have moved to another continent. To be more precise, America. My life has suddenly become a total antithesis of what it was. Presently, I am staying home, and not working at a full time corporate job. I have never known this life. Although this is temporary, I am still finding it difficult to come to terms with it. I stay at home, and unlike back home, I have no maid to take care of the cooking and cleaning part. And if you know me, you would know how much I detest coking. But hey, someone said, “Never say never”. So here I am, cooking 3 hot meals a day for the family. Let me also take this opportunity to thank them for being a sport, because they pretend to enjoy my cooking!

In the meantime, the little one has also grown up a bit and is not so little anymore. Current status: 4 going on 14. She likes makeup and high heels, and doesn’t like to wear the same uniform to school every day. I have no idea what issues we’ll be facing in a decade! She is yet to start school here in US, and I am really looking forward to that. Not because she will start studying and learn new things, but just because she’ll be off my back for a few hours. Now, no judging please. I love her, but I am not Mother India, ok? I am not blessed with unlimited patience.

I had almost given up on the blog in the past 18 months as I was too busy juggling a full time job, a house and a child. Who knew, I would get to play house-house once again, be a house wife and be tempted enough to come back here? Life, do you ever cease to wonder?