Immigration

Fathers, Sons and Motherlands

Book Review: South Haven ♦By Hirsh SawhneyHarperCollins Publishers India, 2016 When the Babri Masjid was demolished, I was about the same age as Siddharth Arora, the preteen protagonist of Hirsh Sawhney’s debut novel. Like him, I was a first generation Indian American, growing up in an east coast suburb; like him, the news reached me …

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From Baghdad to Your Backyard

Iraqi emigrée Roaa Sardar delivers kunafa, shawarma and more around Delhi.  ♦ The Back(lava) Story The first few times we call Roaa Sardar to ask her about her Arabic food delivery service, we can hear her baby daughter shrieking on the other end. “I’ll call you back!” Roaa says, sounding hassled. “Indian children are too, too, naughty,” the …

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How a 1.5-Generation Immigrant Came to Love the Strip Malls of America

“The Trip That Changed the Way I Travel” for National Geographic Traveller India. ♦ Washington DC, USA “Welcome to the Valley of Death,” said my dance classmate grimly. We stood on the stoop of our Kuchipudi teacher’s cookie-cutter clapboard house, contemplating the uniformity of the landscape around us. Once farmland, this developed acreage in Maryland, …

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A Strange, Familiar Place

This Place ♦ By Amitabha Bagchi Fourth Estate / HarperCollins, New Delhi, 2013, 253 pp., Rs 499 (HB) ISBN 978-93-5116-018-2 After being suspended from his government job, Naresh Kumar, the title character in Amitabha Bagchi’s previous book, The Householder (Fourth Estate, 2012), finds himself a stranger in his own house. He waits desperately for the evening, …

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