Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Review : The Immigrant by Manju Kapur



Introduction


·         ISBN -9788184000610

·         Genre: Fiction

·         Publishers: Random House

·         Price: Rs. 299/- (I got this book from the publisher requesting for a review)


The Immigrant as a book struck me for various reasons. One Manju Kapur happens to be one of my favourite authors since the time I read her book Home. She writes about human relationships very beautifully and that too in the Indian context which makes it very easy to connect. Secondly her stories always have a woman as the central character triggering the feminist in me. And lastly I am too much in love with India as a country and somehow the people who have migrated to various countries have always made me curious. I as a person need a sense of belonging to exist – be it with the person, city, town, area, house or the country and the moment I come across people who migrate I somehow wonder as to how do they exist at a place where they will always be an outsider.


Behind The book
Source: Google Images
 As a delineator of middle-class lives in India Manju Kapur has few parallels.” Business Standard. 



About the author


Manju Kapur is an author I truly admire for her writing style which is not only unique but also touching. She has managed to write about the Indian Society and the various social norms in a way no one has ever been able to according to me. This is the third book I have read by her and this just reaffirms my liking towards her writing.  One of my previous reviews on her another book HERE.


Me thinks
In the Indian society I somehow feel women tend to be taken for granted and are always at the receiving end in the name of traditions, customs, social norms, blind beliefs and if nothing else then the so-called well wishing society. The story of this book explores the life of one such woman who is an independent working professional living with her mother as her father is no more and she does not have any siblings. Due to constant social pressure her mother gets her married to a nice NRI groom considered to be a prize catch as per the people.
She migrates abroad leaving behind her roots and tries to find her amidst all that spells a-l-i-e-n to her. What begins as an effort to settle down there starts taking form of a search for love, sense of belonging, care, warmth, friendship and getting hurt, treachery, deceit, lies and cold hearted behavior in return. But her quest does get fulfilled somewhere for her in the end in some form. 

Some of the scenes are beautifully written in the book. Especially where she comes to know about her mother’s death back in India on the phone and is not able to see even her dead body. That scene numbed me and moved me to tears. I had to stop reading the book here as I was unable to read further for quite some time. I have always despised this norm of Indian marriages where once the daughter is married she is no longer allowed to take care of her parents or be there for them from both the sides. Her parents think it is wrong on their part to do this while on her in-laws side they feel this is the right thing.  I wonder where is that child at fault here who has to face the guilt of not being able to do anything for her own parents lifelong and see them die like this – like a nomad. 

The way she comes faces to face with life’s bitter realities and tries to brace herself for more such storms ahead is truly commendable and no one else but Manju Kapur could have written something which is so immensely moving and tragic at the same time.  I fell in love with the ending here and yes she continues to be my favourite. A name I can recommend to one and all without a second thought. 

This book is a beautiful work full of emotions and realities of life and a recommended reading for people who love reading Indian authors, stories on Indian societies and its culture. I am sure you will not be disappointed.



Foodie Verdict

This book is like Khichdi - Kadi, my favourite. Hot, yummy, tangy, sweet, melts in mouth and makes you feel all warm and goey inside!

 
Source: Google Images


  This book has been received from Random House for review

2 comments:

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