Samina Ali: Madras on Rainy Days



I had just finished reading North from Calcutta by Duane Evans and was thinking of the Business World review which complained about the lack of Indian literary fiction written by actual Indians The article conte This novel takes readers inside Muslim family life surrounding the preparations and events of an arranged marriage and reveals the dual culture conflicts that first eneration American s endure Samina Ali brings a feminist voice to Islamist women living in India and the US As an author this book made me think about how I wanted to write Mehendi Tides and how it would be different from books written by Indian writers In Mehendi Tides I sought not to reconcile Islam with modernity but to reconcile misconceptions between Muslim and non Muslim women while still addressing the controversial themes surrounding the modern independent women 455 Much better than I first anticipated This book is a slow moving and weighty unfolding of three months of a marriage The book is very specific to a community of former land owning Muslim elite dispossessed of their property and status through the modern nation state Many of the ender and fertility norms she describes are specific not to Islam or South Asia but to the particular former landowning elite in South India I found the texts portrayal of abusive family dynamics violent familial memory and social violence to be poignant and sophisticated The texts postitioning of Indian musliims as liminal within the Indian nation state by virtue of their religion liminal within an imagined Islamic world by virtue of their skin and birthplace and liminal within the United States by virtue of all three was particularly well done As was the juxtaposition of these seclusions and exclusions with that of the harem and the veil The restrictions of the harem and the veil do at least confer some freedoms and honors The confinement s of the modern nation state offer noneThis book should receive acclaim than it does Contrast this text with literary darling jhumpa lahiri I would argue that the latter enjoys such success because she presents easily digestible stories for Western audiences with the veneer of exoticism to make her seem novel In contrast I found Layla is torn among clashing identities dutiful Muslim daughter and free independent American woman When she is nineteen her parents inform Layla that a marriage has been arranged for her to an Indian man she doesn't know A stunned Layla submits reluctantly but not before she commits a dangerous final act of defiance In the heat and noise of Hyderabad as her we.

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Physical and emotional struggle days before she ets married But the real emotional struggle and fight starts post marriage until she flies back free to a life she knows The story is a Butt Workouts by Chia Booty glimpse in a culture lives of people who largely keep their culture beliefs and family life closelyuarded It is a community which knows exactly what Celibacy, a Love Story goes on in every ones homes The story is so focussed on the families and their tight knit circle it felt like witnessing something hidden like coming across their intimate secrets The setting of the story was such that it obviously made me a bit uncomfortable and frustrated at some of the beliefs and practices It is a story too close for comfort it s intricacies secrets and lies are not for everyone It is definitely not a feelood happy story about displaced Indians it Adulting 101: goes deeper and may shock you too at places The practices and lies of the characters is what put me off from an otherwise well written story The story started out really slow and I had a hard time staying interested but then almost halfway through it picked up steam and I wanted to know how the story ended I agree with some of the previous reviewers in that I was so confused as to what was wrong with the protagonist and her never ending bleeding The servants dialogue were also hard to follow and I had to reread a few of them to understand what they were trying to say The author kept rattling on in some parts where she could have been succinct and made for a engaging read The ending was left too open ended so that was disappointing Overall an ok read but I wouldn t recommend it Iot through 80 pages of this book and Pedal Control: Achieving Speed, Control, Power, and Endurance for the Feet gave up Its poorly structuredseemingly endless description of the marriage and her dilemma about her fiance and her condition I never did understand afteretting through uarter of the book if she was pregnant or not or was mentally disturbed or some other psychic problem Thought i would Poseidons Arrow (Dirk Pitt, give a new Indian author a try but this was a disappointment This book bothered me It started out ok but it uicklyot broody which turned into whiny and then to flat out annoying I will say that I did learn a little bit about some of the Indian Muslim traditions that was pretty interesting. Nown before But her honeymoon in Madras soon reveals the full horror of the devil's bargain she has struck Set against the backdrop of the ancient walled city of Hyderabad and mounting Hindu Muslim tensions Madras on Rainy Days lyrically evokes the complexities of life behind the chador A orgeously written novel by an original new voice in international fictio.

His book far less accessible to those unfamiliar with particulars of marriage sexual and fertility norms and rituals in certain Indian Muslim communities The text is also disturbing and unapologetic about its discussions of bodies sex fertility and violence Read this book instead I was fine with how the book started Until about page 20 that is Then it went downhill The main character had some problem and for the life of me I couldn t figure out if she was pregnant or on her period or delusional It was frustrating The language was frustrating the ambiguous narration was irritating and to top it all the servants in the book were always talking long paragraphs of broken English and I felt like I had to endure these nails screeching on blackboard portions to et through the book After Italian Riviera going through about 34ths of it Iave up skimmed it and called it a day Use this time to read something else take my word Never did I dislike a book so much I couldn t relate to any of the so called Indian Muslim traditions stated in the book even though I spent a A Beach Party with Alexis good part of my life in the city where most of the story is set The synopsis on the book cover made it sound like an interesting read it just turned out to be a disappointing one Intimate look inside the world of a Muslim woman in India Madras on rainy days is about a daughter and wedding as per the wishes of her parents Reading the book blurbsummary you will neveruess the different layers explored in the story Madras is the pivotal moment in the story a turning point which is what the lead character remembers it by her life changing experience in India Layla spends half her time in India back with her conservative parents to ensure they stay close to their culture Having done the back and forth most of her life Layla has made her peace with it but the nagging doubts are prominent and troubling when she is to be married this time around Layla like a dutiful daughter of strict conservative Muslim parents is to stay away from her American school mates especially boys But fate puts Nate in her path and she commits all the forbidden to her acts with Nate Back in India a different kind of trouble is waiting for her Layla Anak Bajang Menggiring Angin goes through tremendous. Dding looms her behavior becomes and erratic Her mother fearing demonic possession takes Layla to a Muslim faith healer an alim hoping to exorcise all traces of rebellion To Layla's surprise the ancient and elaborate wedding rituals herroom's physical beauty and the unexpectedly warm welcome of her new family fill her with a sense of belonging she has never

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