20 September, 2020

Know India: Learn The Alphabet By Heart

The raised-as-American Giridharadas has a steady eye, but his set-pieces are a patchwork in a big book

Getty Images (From Outlook, March 14, 2011)
Know India: Learn The Alphabet By Heart
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Barely have we strapped ourselves in to read Anand Giridharadas’s rollercoaster ride of thoughts, experiences and interviews about being an Indo-American who returns to India, when whoosh! It’s over.

But in its brisk way, the book covers a broad area while sparing us the mandatory visits to slums, brothels and palaces. It should appeal to the thousands of so-called ABCDs—American Born Confused Desis—who struggle with feelings shading from guilt and confusion to joyous surrender to their ethnic homeland. Amongst the most corrosive results of emigration is the loss of a past without the benefit of gaining a present. For the Indian diaspora, the typical cultural dislocation of all immigrants is multiplied many times over by the fact that, as a culture, we’re not homogeneous and the shared citizenship is an illusion. We might find ourselves being thrown together with others of our nationality only to realise that we have neither food, language, religion nor social experience in common. We would be better off...

unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


In this article:

More from Manjula Padmanabhan


Latest Magazine

September 28, 2020
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section