A Book on Life and Love in India

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A Book on Life and Love in India

Post  WillyNilly on Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:54 pm

the book is "sideways on a scooter: life and love in india," written by miranda kennedy, a reporter for npr. it is a non-fictional account based on the five years she lived in new delhi as npr's correspondent.

i have not read the book, but i happened upon a review of it at amazon

it does not appear to be a scholarly work, nor a particularly insightful narration of kennedy's observations of "life and love" in india. however, i found the reviews at amazon to be interesting. in particular, there's a long and heated exchange between reviewer s. mitra and a 'kolkatta' who hold opposing viewpoints, with mitra labeling the author kennedy as ignorant, superficial, and unintelligent.

mitra's comments are on the first page, and kolkatta's are among the 32 replies s/he received, to which there's a link. i don't intend to buy the book; i'll probably read it if it's in my public library.
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Re: A Book on Life and Love in India

Post  Guest on Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:42 pm

WillyNilly wrote:the book is "sideways on a scooter: life and love in india," written by miranda kennedy, a reporter for npr. it is a non-fictional account based on the five years she lived in new delhi as npr's correspondent.

i have not read the book, but i happened upon a review of it at amazon

it does not appear to be a scholarly work, nor a particularly insightful narration of kennedy's observations of "life and love" in india. however, i found the reviews at amazon to be interesting. in particular, there's a long and heated exchange between reviewer s. mitra and a 'kolkatta' who hold opposing viewpoints, with mitra labeling the author kennedy as ignorant, superficial, and unintelligent.

mitra's comments are on the first page, and kolkatta's are among the 32 replies s/he received, to which there's a link. i don't intend to buy the book; i'll probably read it if it's in my public library.
A very interesting discussion. I am traveling right now but will share my views on this issue in some detail over the week-end. Meanwhile are you more inclined towards the views of mitra or Kolkatta?

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Re: A Book on Life and Love in India

Post  WillyNilly on Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:28 pm

Rashmun wrote:A very interesting discussion. I am traveling right now but will share my views on this issue in some detail over the week-end. Meanwhile are you more inclined towards the views of mitra or Kolkatta?
i am leaning to mitra's point of view. it's difficult to live in india for as few as five years, get to know a few indians, and learn much about "life and love" in india, especially when one is a foreigner, did not marry an indian, and has no indian relatives.

even i, after growing up and living in india for 22 years, knew little about life, love, and marriage in indian communities other than mine. i did know, however, that most marriages were arranged marriages, but i don't know how much love and marriage have changed in india over the last 20 years. i wonder if kennedy knows that "arranged" marriages can take many different forms, some more civilized and refined than others, and some, more sensible than the typically western random pairing.

mitra makes strong points about the diversity of india's population, and the beneficial effects of affirmative action, i.e. "reservation," and the risk of a foreigner generalizing her limited observations to "india."

mitra's mistake is that s/he is now too invested in criticism of author kennedy and kolkatta's point of view, which does not give much credit to the societal changes taking place in india, that kennedy does not seem to have acknowledged, and was not in a position to assess. mitra is now open to criticism that his/her dislike of the book is based largely on narrow-minded nationalism.

i am going to look for the book in my public library.
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Re: A Book on Life and Love in India

Post  Guest on Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:10 am

WillyNilly wrote:
Rashmun wrote:A very interesting discussion. I am traveling right now but will share my views on this issue in some detail over the week-end. Meanwhile are you more inclined towards the views of mitra or Kolkatta?
i am leaning to mitra's point of view. it's difficult to live in india for as few as five years, get to know a few indians, and learn much about "life and love" in india, especially when one is a foreigner, did not marry an indian, and has no indian relatives.

even i, after growing up and living in india for 22 years, knew little about life, love, and marriage in indian communities other than mine. i did know, however, that most marriages were arranged marriages, but i don't know how much love and marriage have changed in india over the last 20 years. i wonder if kennedy knows that "arranged" marriages can take many different forms, some more civilized and refined than others, and some, more sensible than the typically western random pairing.

mitra makes strong points about the diversity of india's population, and the beneficial effects of affirmative action, i.e. "reservation," and the risk of a foreigner generalizing her limited observations to "india."

mitra's mistake is that s/he is now too invested in criticism of author kennedy and kolkatta's point of view, which does not give much credit to the societal changes taking place in india, that kennedy does not seem to have acknowledged, and was not in a position to assess. mitra is now open to criticism that his/her dislike of the book is based largely on narrow-minded nationalism.

i am going to look for the book in my public library.
i am in a predicament because i agree partly with Mitra and partly with "kolkatta". I am not sure whether anyone would care to read where i agree and where i disagree with the two.

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