Friday 12 January 2007

The inheritance of loss- Kiran Desai

I got to know about the book as anyone could guess after the knowledge about the Booker Prize, about the young Indian in the circuit, Kiran Desai. There have been columns written about Indian writing skills. I remember how I have grown up thriving on foreign authors from all over the world except for Indians. How I loathed Indian writers especially for their hypocrisy except for few like R.K. Narayan. No definitely now I perceive Indians are happening for example the book “The Hungry Tide” by Amitav Ghosh was such a delight, so captivating that I had nearly tasted the fish curry cooked on the sunderbans.

Kiran Desai has perfectly etched the details of the character which ranges from grudging judge who did his graduation from US to the poor cook who pines on his son who is working in Amerika as a cook illegally. The story traverses from Kanchenjunga in India to New York. It is the story set up in early eighties with a panoramic background of the small village on the border of India. The peaceful place with rustic inhabitants gets changed after the insurgency when gurkhas, native of the place revolts to get their power back over the migrants.

The story about the Indians leaving India in seventies in search of opportunities and the treatment meted out to most of them is very revealing. The desperation of the Indians to get a green card and somehow reach America to escape from poverty. How families saved their last penny to send one child to America in hope of getting dollars and prestige for the whole family. The prodigal sons then have the burden not only of surviving in a foreign land with foreign language and carve success but also to cater to a huge list of relatives who dream of coming to America and change their destiny.

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