Cultural Ice breaker
22 December, 2013
The author is an IIT and IIM graduate and banker turned author. Rated as one of the top English language authors in India.
Storyline: The author’s self story of his marriage with Ananya Swaminathan, after he met her for the first time in a lunch que line of his management school. Having graduated in engineering from the premier Indian Institute of Technology, he joins IIM where he be-friends the most beautiful Tamil Brahmin girl, Ananya, in his class. They slowly fall in love with each other over a period of time, and decide to marry each other, by the time, they finish their post graduation in management and get into employment with Citibank and Hindustan Lever, respectively. Then, start the actual problems. The orthodox South Indian background of Ananya is in conflict with the social and outspoken Punjabi families of Krish Malhotra. Both of them strive to convince their respective families by each spending enough time, with each other’s families, trying to impress them with their best of abilities, but to only end up being accepted only halfheartedly. Finally, Krish decides to have a common get-together of both the parents in Goa, which also ends in a disaster through mutual abuses and insults on each other’s cultures, customs, skin color, educational backgrounds, etc. This breaks up the relationship between the duo. Krish gets into near nervous breakdown, when his father, (whom Krish never respected due to his authoritative nature), meets Ananya’s parents and convinces them for the marriage. The book ends with a happy note on Krish’s family attending his South style marriage and the couple blessed with twins after a couple of years.
Positives: Hilarious, witty and very entertaining. The manner in which South Indian and North Indian way of living is elicited in a witty fashion is worth reading. The strong moral of Indians remaining as Indians first and not to differentiate each other by their skin color and states they belong to is strongly emphasized and inter-state marriages encouraged to bridge this gap. Various social problems in India like dowry system, discrimination, North South egos, excessive parental control, importance of marriage of families but not just individuals and changing cultural habits of the younger generation are addressed tactically.
Negatives: The comedy in some verses might be taken seriously by some readers if they carry the South Indian versus North Indian differences in their minds and the abuses on each other might enhance that feeling of hatred. Somehow, the author seems to have slight tilt towards Punjabi lifestyle and misses both side justification.
My rating is 3.75/5
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