Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Matri-moan-ial

I'm exploring the splurge of Indian "marriage" novels in bookstores.

I was looking through a list of books by Indian authors and I felt that 90% of them had names like Arranged Marriage, Love Marriage, A Good Indian Wife... It seems like a Mt. Kailash-sized step backward in comparison to the progressive laws against domestic violence and women's rights in a rapidly developing India.

I'm a big fan of love, and a bigger fan of spectacular 7-day elephant-riding, drum-blaring weddings...but I'm also a proponent of good writing. The churning out of frothy books about nuptial disasters makes me want photocopy the Elements of Style for every author daring to pen a novel about Sapna's affair with spontaneous photographer Rajiv while her parents make a deal with the serious (but eventually lovable, parents know best) lawyer Nitin.

Of course there are blaring exceptions that pretty much knock other modern writers out of the water: Rohinton Mistry, Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai, for example.

The topic of marriage can be handled with intelligence and truth. I'm not the kind of person who will only read books about war, strife and social change. But the last few books I've read on the topic have basically been modified screenplays to cheesy Bollywood movies. I would like to see some more books that actually reflect my culture. Unless this is my culture, in which case I am mistaken and should gladly accept another 100 versions of Bride and Prejudice (shudder) on the shelves.

3 comments:

Pallavi said...

the suppressed masses are pushing to be heard! too bad they can't all pen a well-written novel.


hehe :)

Pallavi said...

also, your titles are awesome.



XOXO

Ankita said...

hahah thanks...i know they are, but it hurts me. i miss you!! you're such a good friend to read and comment.