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June 2004
July 2004



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Review: Born Confused by Tanuja Hidier

5 Stars: It is ironic that I start my blog with a fiction book; but this one is right around my alley- Indian diaspora in the United States. At the University of Texas, Austin, I was a teaching assistant at the Asian Studies dept and we offered a research course on the Indian diaspora in the US.

Did you know that you that almost every other person you meet in Fiji, Trinidad or Mauritius will be of Indian origin? Did you know that there are abt 2m people of Indian origin in the US!

The fun part is watching the dynamics of this diaspora: some of us can't wait to shed our brown skins, some can't help but remind e'one- did u know who invented zero? (yeah, of all things, zero!). Born Confused is about one little girl born to Indians who decided to settle down in the 'land of opportunity'. Dimple Lala- she is the quintessential ABCD( American Born Confused Desi) Desi is a term of 'endearment' denoting South Asians. Her parents try to arrange a suitable boy for her, as the book progresses, we realize how he becomes suitable to Dimple becz of his sheer unsuitability.

I should think that by now you are all applause for Tanuja(seeing her picture), but wait till you see how effortlessly her words flow. Quote "Was that a giggle that ridiculed or rather the ballad of uninhibited pleasure? Like me, Kavita ended all her sentences in a question mark, but unlike me, it still sounded as if she knew all the answers and was just acting like she was asking so you wouldn't feel too clueless..."

I like the way she tells the story of a 17 yr girl and entwines it with profound insightfull discussions on the Indian diaspora, on teenage values, on the acceptance of disparate sexual orientations in the Indian community...

Profundities ::

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