Namesake was the story of Bengali’s family who had to face cultural differences in their life. Gogol, the main character of the story, was born in BosNamesake was the story of Bengali’s family who had to face cultural differences in their life. Gogol, the main character of the story, was born in Boston. He was named after the Russian author, Nikolai Gogol. Gogol’s father was a big fan of Russian’s literatures and survived because of Nikolai’s book from a train accident in India. When Gogol was born, his parents wanted to wait to name him as the naming letter from Gogol’s great grandmother was delayed. However, the letter was lost and he was stuck with Gogol. Eventually his parents gave him a good name, Nikhil. He was comfortable being a Gogol until he went to college and changed it legally to Nikhil. The story continued to tell us about his life in the college, girls he met and broke his heart, his defiance against his parents to always go home for Christmas and Thanksgiving. The last part of the book was about his sadness from losing his father from heart attack and his happiness from his marriage life to a Bengali’s that became a failure after he found out that his wife was cheating on him. I finished Namesake within 2 days, which was a record as I only read before bedtime. I felt for these characters, especially the mother who was come to Boston without knowing anyone except the husband. How she had to adjust to American life for the sake of her children and eventually had to survive alone when her husband passed. As I doze off to sleep I kept thinking about the Namesake. The questions started to fill up my mind; Will Amanda feel foreign in our homeland the next time we go home? Will Amanda rejected to be with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas when she is in college? Bringing up children in a foreign country will always be a challenge to all parents. Even though we, as parents can pass our cultures, eventually the local culture and moral will take over it. My only hope for this moment is that Amanda will always looking forward to go home to Indonesia and Singapore and feel at home there.
The Twentieth Wife was Mehrunissa. Her father was almost abandoned her when she was just an infant for he could not afford her. Luckily, Mehrunissa wasThe Twentieth Wife was Mehrunissa. Her father was almost abandoned her when she was just an infant for he could not afford her. Luckily, Mehrunissa was picked up by a Persian man who was also the savior of her family. The Twentieth Wife, the story of Mehrunissa’s love to her prince, Salim. It was also a story of politics in Mughal India kingdom and its harem. After Mehrunissa’s father accepted a position in the kingdom, she was noticed by the Queen and was asked to be a lady in waiting. During her service, she took a noticed of Prince Salim and fell in love with him. Her love and admiration were reciprocated however it was too late as Mehrunissa was engaged to be married. The Twentieth Wife was also the story about power struggle between fathers and sons. A persuasion to get the throne was fired up by Prince Salim advisors and he rebelled against his father. While this happened, Prince Salim’s older son was also thirsty for the throne and challenged his father. Mehrunissa’s life was described in details in this novel. From her suffering for not able to marry the man she loved to the humiliation of not able to bear a baby for her husband. Finally after enduring a few miscarriages, she gave birth to a baby girl. Mehrunissa’s life changed after a tragic death of her husband. She then went back to be a lady in waiting for the Queen (now a former Queen) and supported herself and her daughter for four years. The love between her and Emperor Jahangir had never ceased even though many people against it. Mehrunissa was the last wife of Jahangir. I found out about this novel from my contact in Flickr. Just a few months before, I finished a novel titled “Taj”. In it, there was a short story about Mehrunissa and her marriage to Jahangir. The Twentieth Wife is a sequel of The Feast of Roses in which the story of Mehrunissa as an empress continued. The author of this novel researched many history books to obtain the facts for this story. Indu Sundaresan was born and raised in India and currently lives in Bellevue, Washington, USA....more
Amulya Malladi wrote this novel based on the tragedy in Bhopal, India. The gas leaked claimed 16,000 people and many survivors had to life with the loAmulya Malladi wrote this novel based on the tragedy in Bhopal, India. The gas leaked claimed 16,000 people and many survivors had to life with the long-term effects of the exposure to the gas.
The Breath of Fresh Air was literary about breathing fresh air for Anjali and for her son. It was also about an arranged marriage and the question, would an arranged marriage work? For Anjali, there was no question about it. Everybody that she knew had arranged marriages and their marriages lasted. It began when Anjali was in Bhopal during the catastrophic disaster. A pesticide factory released its gas due to miscalculating pressure and surrounded Bhopal with its deadly fume. The gas killed thousands of people but Anjali survived. She was waiting for his husband to pick her up after visiting her parents. Prakash, the husband was sleeping while Anjali struggled for her life. The marriage between them was arranged by Anjali’s aunt which delighted Anjali. She had been dreaming of marrying a handsome husband who would sweep her feet and made her a perfect wife. But Prakash was the opposite. He was a not a perfect husband. Anjali tried to hang on to the marriage and tried very hard to please and serve Prakash until she found out that he cheated on her. She made a decision to divorce Prakash as she could not bear living with a cheater anymore. This decision angered her parents since her parents believed that the wife should bear all pains and misfortunes in her marriage. In other word, no divorce!
Anjali life started again when she met her second husband. They met in the college and fell in love. They had a sick baby as a consequence of her breathing the toxic fume. Everyday as Anjali saw his son, she blamed Prakash and carried the hatred for a long time. Their path met again when Prakash was stationed in the same town as Anjali. The guilty feeling that haunted Prakash forced him to visit Anjali’s house and found out about his son. He tried to mend his guilt by helping Anjali and her husband to save their son. Anjali son, Amir was very ill and was too late to be saved. Before he died, he asked Anjali to wheel him to a park to have a breath of fresh air. ...more
Home is one of the many books that Manju Kapur wrote. Home is literary about home and family in India. Home is also about the right of wives, daughterHome is one of the many books that Manju Kapur wrote. Home is literary about home and family in India. Home is also about the right of wives, daughters and women in India. It is about arrange marriages. The story began with the sons of The Banwari Lals, the owner of the largest cloth shops in Anarkalli. After marrying his daughter, Sunita to a man in Bareilly, Lala Banwari Lal, the patriarch thought about his other two sons. The two sons would be marrying for the benefit of the family and the shop. However, the first son, Yaspal refused to marry anyone except for Sona. The story continued to another generation of the grandsons and the granddaughter of the sons and a daughter of Lala Banwari. The trouble started when Vicky, the son of the only daughter of the Banwari Lals family lived with them. His mother was killed in the fire. Vicky was thrown under the care of Sona who refused to acknowledge him as a son. He grew up as a trouble boy. Nisha, the daughter of Yaspal and Sona became the sexual abuse victim of Vicky. He had threatened her to not tell anyone. Nisha became disturbed after the abuse and was moved to her auntie’s home. The center of the story was moved to Nisha and her life. She refused an arrange marriage and wanted to be married to her boyfriend, Suresh. The family rejected her request especially when they found out Suresh came from the lower caste than they were. Home was packed nicely with easy to understand words. This novel made me think about what is important in life, marriage and children. It also answered a question that many people asked, does an arrange marriage work?...more
This book gives me a chance to explore the child in me. Having to go back in time in reality is impossible however with this book, I can image myselfThis book gives me a chance to explore the child in me. Having to go back in time in reality is impossible however with this book, I can image myself travel and play with John and Hattie....more
Hakim, the main character of this novel was a small boy who run away for his orphanage. He was always hungry and lonely. Hakim longed for wealth, poweHakim, the main character of this novel was a small boy who run away for his orphanage. He was always hungry and lonely. Hakim longed for wealth, power and love. One day, he overheard his master that he could find wealth, power and love by finding a wise man. In his journey to find the wise man, he met many people who told him stories, who taught him the meaning of life and who inspired him. At the end of his journey, Hakim not only able to find wealth, power and love but he also found happiness and wisdom. This novel is filled with inspirational words and examples. I learned wisdom from this novel. Wisdom for me as a parent to care and love my daughter, to educate and guide her but to leave her alone and let the world teach her when my daughter is ready to face it. Wisdom for myself to have no fear as it will chase away happiness in my life. Wisdom for giving as it is an instrument to make me rich at heart and wisdom to be aware of what I do in the present, as it will affect my future. This novel was written with careful thought and deep understanding about life. Gautama Chopra was brought up to understand spiritual happiness through meditation. He is the son of the bestselling author, Deepak Chopra. He is studying English, religion and film at Columbia University in New York City. ...more
Taj is a novel about love. Deep love of Arjumand and Shah Janan. The story started when Shah Janan was only a prince when he first saw Arjumand. He feTaj is a novel about love. Deep love of Arjumand and Shah Janan. The story started when Shah Janan was only a prince when he first saw Arjumand. He fell in love at the very first sight of her. As the heir of Great Mughal of India, he was not allowed to choose his wife. The marriage of Arjumand and Shah Janan was possible after much persuasion. Arjumand and Shah Janan were blessed with seven children as a consequence of 14 pregnancies. After Arjumand died, Shah Janan was engrossed in building a spectacular tomb for her, Taj Mahal. The story in this novel was divided into two parts. The first part was about Arjumand and Shah Janan’s life and the second part was about the building of the Taj Mahal. The author of the fiction, Timeri N. Murari based his fiction on history and included the year when the Kingdom Shah Janan was in power. The book gave me pleasure of reading not only as a fiction but also as a part of history of Mughal India. The words are not very hard to digest except for some italic Hindi languages. Note of warning: this fiction had some explicit sexually suggestion. ...more
This book is a reviewed of Jane Austen's novels. If you are planning to read Reading on Jane Austen, you may want to "at least" know the story of JaneThis book is a reviewed of Jane Austen's novels. If you are planning to read Reading on Jane Austen, you may want to "at least" know the story of Jane Austen's novels such as Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice. This book covered many aspects of Jane Austen's novel;humors,satire,marriage etc....more
Snow Flower and Secret Fan Lisa See 258 pages Random House, NY
This novel was about a deep friendship between two women, Lily and Snow Flower. It was abouSnow Flower and Secret Fan Lisa See 258 pages Random House, NY
This novel was about a deep friendship between two women, Lily and Snow Flower. It was about the hardship of women in China in the nineteenth century: the pain of foot binding, the limited freedom to learn and to choose a husband were only a small part of their hardship. After all those, they had to endure humiliation and tortured by the in-law. The story started with Lily. She was only 6 years old when her mother planned to bind her feet. A matchmaker who was asked to find an auspicious date saw her feet and predicted that she would have a prosperous future. The matchmaker then suggested a girl from a rich family as her laotong or “same old”. Laotong was a tradition to pair a girl with another girl as sworn sisters. You see, back then, a girl would get married and leave her family with a rare chance to see them again. Laotong and sworn sisters were needed to fill the emptiness after leaving the family. Lily was introduced to Snow Flower, a girl from a rich family. They were instantly became attached. Lily thought she was lucky to have a rich girl to be her laotong. However Snow Flower did not tell her the truth about her family. The secret was disclosed during Snow Flower wedding preparation. Lily found out that Snow Flower family was beyond poor. It was true that Snow Flower family was rich once but the greediness and luxurious life took their money away. The story continued with their happy life of getting pregnant and having children. Snow Flower was married to a butcher who was considered a polluted job back then. Their life was destroyed by Taiping rebellion, as they needed to leave their houses and families. Lily who was visiting Snow Flower when the rebellion started had to escape with Snow Flower family and separated from her family for many months. After the rebellion ended, Snow Flower wrote a letter, which threatened their friendship. She wrote that she would be cared by her other sworn sisters that enraged Lily. Lily then humiliated Snow Flower with her secret in front of many people. They did not see each other anymore until the news about Snow Flower sickness came to Lily. It was too late to mend the friendship as Snow Flower died from ovarian cancer. The story ended with Lily’s old day. Her wish to have Snow Flower in her life again came true by marrying Snow Flower’s granddaughter to her eldest grandson. I had a mix feeling about this story. I felt disgusted to know that the women in this story blindly and obediently followed the tradition that limited their freedom. However at the same time, I felt proud and was relieved of their courage and endurance. I am also touched by the friendship of Lily and Snow Flower. I am lucky I do not have to go through a life of them as I can still see my family especially my sister whenever I want.
“When a girl, obey your father; when a wife, obey your husband; when a widow, obey your son”
I guess that was in Lily and Snow Flower’s mind back then. What do you think?...more
This book is one of the books I have to read for the writing class I am currently taking. It wasn't easy to read this book as Mark Twain used some diaThis book is one of the books I have to read for the writing class I am currently taking. It wasn't easy to read this book as Mark Twain used some dialects used in the south part of the U.S....more