Wry humor and a delicious grasp of the friction between generations in Bangalore are the hallmarks of Lavanya Sankaran’s fresh, deeply nuanced debut collection. “A potpourri of beggars and billionaires and determinedly laid-back ways,” Bangalore, India’s own Silicon Valley, is a crucible for prosperity, and at the chaotic crossroads between past and present. Here, American-trained professionals like Tara return to their old-fashioned families with heads full of Quentin Tarantino dialogue; a successful entrepreneur is shaken when his partner suddenly reneges on their plan to return to America; a traditional Indian mother slyly circumvents her Western-educated daughter’s resistance to marriage; a neighborhood gossip is determined to discover what goes on behind the closed curtains of the hip young couple across the street; a chauffeur must reconcile his more orthodox credos with his employer’s miniskirt lifestyle.
Witty, affectionate, and wonderfully wise, Lavanya Sankaran’s first collection attests to her remarkable literary talent.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Red Carpet|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Dell Publishing|
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The Red Carpet
Ramu studied the animated woman in front of him, a slight smile on his lips. And apart from the minor variances: his gender, darker skin color, the carefully trimmed goatee resting on his chin, and the worrisome hairline that danced away from his forehead in the coy manner that plagued so many men in their early thirties, it was practically a Mona Lisa smile-full of mystery and hidden amusement.
The woman, Ashwini, was a recent import to the city, having moved to Bangalore with her parents after living her whole life in Bombay. After a year here, she was still going through withdrawal symptoms, and her conversation was frequently colored with Bombay this and Bombay that and in Bombay we and o god why can't Bangalore? If she were smart, he thought, she would learn that this invariably irritated her listeners, many of whom had lived in other parts of the country and indeed the world, but on the whole had managed to assimilate into this southern city with considerably more grace. One saw her everywhere however, in all the pubs and all the parties, because in addition to her list of nostalgic complaints, she was also armed with a lot of verve and fun. She was up for anything, a good-time charlie, a bustling ball of energy and laughter, a squeal and hug and kiss for everybody, her hips grinding inadvertently but pleasantly against the men she talked to as her bottom swayed happily to passing bits of music.
When she met people at parties, she didn't (as Ramu might) smile, chat, and withdraw from them until the next party. Instead she had the knack of making friends, and (before they knew it) of climbing deep into their lives. Then, there she'd be: visiting, c