Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Interpreter of Maladies

Details of the Book
No. of Pages   : 198 Pages
ISBN               : 0618101365 (ISBN13: 9780618101368)
Language        : English

From the book blurb
Published first in the year 1999, Interpreter Of Maladies is a collection of short stories that revolve around the lives of Indian Americans, and their struggle to blend in with American culture.

Interpreter of Maladies is a collection of nine short stories that are based on Indian American who are crunched between the culture they live in, and the culture inherited by them. This book has sold more than 15 million copies across the globe.

Jhumpa Lahiri has written The Namesake, The Lowland, and Unaccustomed Earth.

Lahiri was born on 11th July, 1967, in London, England. She was raised in Kingston, Rhode Island, America, as her father worked at the University of Rhode Island as a Librarian. Lahiri has been awarded several times for her literary works, and some of the recent ones include the Asian American Literary Award and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. She currently resides in Rome, Italy, along with her spouse, and their two children.

Awards for the Book
1999 - PEN/Hemingway Award (Best Fiction Debut of the Year) for "Interpreter of Maladies";
2000 - The New Yorker's Best Debut of the Year for "Interpreter of Maladies";
2000 - Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her debut Interpreter of Maladies (less)

What I think
A Temporary Matter
This story left a lump in my throat; a pain that I didn’t want. It is about Shukumar and Shobha, a married couple living as strangers under the same roof. It narrates how their lives used to be and how it had become after Shobha delivers a still baby.

This story is about how they handle the sorrow and how temporary power cut and the resultant darkness help them get rid of the darkness they had in their hearts.

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
A heart-touching story about the miseries endured by people in Dacca during the struggle for the formation of Bangladesh. This is said from the point of view of a ten years old American born Indian girl, Lilia. It is about a girl’s plight to differentiate between Indian, Pakistani or a Bangladeshi. She notices that they all look similar with similar habits. Lilia and her thought will surely make you think.
A Quote I liked:
“Our meals, our actions, were only a shadow of what had already happened there, a lagging ghost of where Mr. Pirzada really belonged.”

Interpreter of Maladies
A tour guide meets hundreds of people during his career. Some of them leave a lasting impression in their minds. This little story is about such a tour guide named Mr. Kapasi and a day that he spends with American born Indian couple Mr. & Mrs. Das and their three children. Mrs. Das sees a friend and empathetic human being in Mr. Kapasi and discloses a secret that could shatter her marriage; her life. Although Mr. Kapasi stands helpless, his silence and one question that he asks her transforms Mrs. Das. This story touches upon the small dreams of Indians and how it is ignored as they struggle to make the ends meet.

A Real Durwan
This tale nicely shows how people change when they get money; how readily they try to rid of everything that was dear to them in the name of modernization. This story made me understand that progression would be awesome only if we don’t forget our past/roots. Boori Ma steals our heart by being simple and herself.

This story is about Miranda who affair with a married man, Dev. It is also about her Laxmi friend Laxmi and her cousin whose husband is having affair with a woman he met during flight.

They say that a child is equal thousands of teachers. This little story reemphasizes that. They make us see what we had once refused to see. They make us do things that we never knew we could.

Mrs. Sen’s
A remarkable story about the difficulties that an Indian woman finds in America after she is married off with an Indian working in America. She misses her family, hometown, life and everything. She spends all her day and night at home, cooking and waiting for her husband to return from work. She is forced to understand the differences between her country and USA; she is compelled to embrace them as her own. Mrs. Sen’s is Mrs. Sen’s story; her life and the home that she misses.

This Blessed House
Sanjeev and Twinkle, newly married couple, move to a new house. As they try to set up their house, Twinkle finds several things like a statue of Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and many others. She feels excited about her little treasure hunt and displays them in her house. Sanjeev, however, is frustrated. He thinks that others would think they are funny because they are displaying objects relating to Christianity when they were not. This story is about the differences they have and how they try to adjust with each other.

The Treatment of Bibi Haldar
Bibi is affected by an unknown disease since childhood. This disease and its symptoms described looked lot like fit to me and reminded me how it was always looked at by Indians. A woman affected by fit could never find a suitor or lead a normal life. Bibi is almost thirty years old, rearing dreams of marriage and motherhood. However, nobody sees her as a prospective bride. She lives with her cousin and wife who also eventually abandon her. This little story is all about that treatment for Bibi which cures her!

The Third and Final Continent
This story fitted as the perfect last story. This touches upon various experiences of any human being… Staying away from home… Learning to be independent… Adapting to new culture… Meeting new people and making friends… Marriage and the lifelong friendship expected out of it and much more. Mrs. Croft will live as long as this famous book does J