In 1973, Clark Blaise and his Bengali wife, Bharati Mukherjee, decided to spend a year with her family in Calcutta. Clark came as a Westerner; Bharati, as an adult woman examining her life as it might have become had she followed the traditional course expected of her. They recount a modern passage to India with insight, humor and compassion....
|Title||:||Days and Nights in Calcutta|
|Number of Pages||:||336 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Days and Nights in Calcutta Reviews
I found this book at my local library on the for-sale shelf, for a buck. I purchased it because we, my wife and I, had recently been partnered with an Indian girl attending Middlebury College and I thought that perhaps it would increase my general understanding of Indian culture, and be able to ask her intelligent-sounding questions. Well, for whatever reason, that relationship has been worthless, I don't know why, and it is beside the point to this review. I started reading the book a week or so before taking off for a month of travel in India with my wife, younger son, who lived and worked in India for two years and his future wife and her younger sister. We had planned to visit Kolkata and I had written a paper on the city in a course in graduate school: Housing in Emerging markets. Even though it was published 40 years ago a lot of it is still relevant and provides a deeper perspective about the country, its people and its amazing and complex diversity, if you are able to read between the lines and ask the right questions of the right people.I found the book, a memoir, written by a husband-wife team of professional writers to be intimately satisfying. The wife, an Indian, born in Kolkata is married to a Canadian born in America, return to live in India, Kolkata, to be exact, with their two children after some personal family disasters. The wife has been living a modern western life-style and has basically been away for 14 years, returning sporadically to visit family, every year or two for a summer vacation. She writes about what her life could have been, had she stayed and pursued a more traditional life as a Bengali woman from an upper middle-class family. Many of her friends, from her private Catholic School, not associated with Mother teresa, have stayed, and embraced that lifestyle and its expectations, rather than flee for education, a job and ultimately marriage and family as she did. His writing examines India, and Indians, his wife's smothering extended family in particular, in all its complexities and contradiction sand with good-natured humor coupled with disdain, incredulity and exasperation all at the same time. I do think Indians are their own worst enemy. We had a wonderful trip, visiting Amritsar on the Pakistani border to the west to Kolkata, on the border with Bangladesh to the east. It is an enormous country, home to more than a billion people, and it manages to work, certainly not to Western standards and expectations, but it seems to work for them. This book does as good a job as anything, but naturally the ultimate is to immerse yourself in the county: see it, smell it, feel it, taste it, hear it. Words are truly inadequate and a weak attempt at trying to explain this place, which in all honesty is beyond explanation.
I Loved Loved Loved this book. I don't think i've read a single book by her that I haven't liked. Being Indian I could easily relate to Bharati's experience and the annoyance with certain aspects of the family interactions, which is why I loved the fact that it was written by both of them about the same trip. It's funny to read about the same trip from two very different point of views. I really enjoyed reading Clark Blaise's description of his views on the Bengali culture. It's always fun to see things from the outsiders point of view.
Read this many years ago. Loved it, because I thought Blaise captured the approach I think many non-Indians take when they visit India--especially with their Indian spouses/friends. He was having a cross-cultural experience and she was drowning in the petty squabbles of nosy relatives who have an opinion on all of her actions. India is a lovely place; but my goodness can it by trying if you have family there! I suppose many places are like this; but I just liked the book because it reflected my own experience.
Two talented writers, married to each other, write separately about their joint visit to Kolkata/Calcutta. Such different accounts and both intriguing.
It was ok. I really wish I had the energy to finish this. I've heard that the second half is really good, so I might give it another go and just skip straight to the second half.
This book is actually written by Clarke Blasie and Bharati Mukherjee - husband and wife. Blaise's portion of the book was horrible. Mukherjee's I liked. Therefore the "It was o.k." review.