The Inscrutable Americans

Well, Indians-moving-abroad has indeed been a hackneyed issue for a while.The book by Anurag Mathur falls into the lineage of the books by indian diaspora who have made attempts to envisage the yank life from the “stereotype- indian- perspective”.As expected, it obviously is a blend of hilarious comedy born out of the cultural shocks and the everlasting process of getting one’s dogma revived. No doubt every Indian born, somehow develops this uncanny attraction for the life in states irrespective of the milieu he has been brought up in. But..what actually happens when he manages to drop into his dreamland in reality?…does the mental picture he has developed through movies and books about yank life contradict with the real life?….do his prejudiced views put him into pickle all the time?…and oh yes..what about the so-called-attempts made to avert from the three-‘p’s (pegs-patooties-and- puffs!)….does he ever succeed in it?..answers Anurag Mathur in his delightfully new angle.
“Its a tale of a subcontinental bumpkin at sea in the american heartland”…says the international herald tribune.Gopal Kumar,is a hick..from a Madhya Pradesh village (locally known as Paris of MP) who is heading to the US to pursue his masters.
Rather than just praising author’s style,let me give you direct excerpts from the book.
1.
“How far is the college?”,asked Gopal (the protagonist). “Well,no luck. Its an hour long drive. Bit of rustic…its sort of a one-horse town”. “I see, who owns the horse by the way?”(huh!)
2.
Gopal was glad to see the university chap at the airport .As he opened his mouth to say a hi,
“Hi,I am Randy”..the guy introduced,”Why?”…Gopal asked.(!!!)……..sometime later,the same person meets Gopal…and says,”Hi, remember me? I am Randy”.”Still???”,…Gopal chided.(!!)
3.
“Brother, I can see a lot of women in the ads here”
“Yeah,right.”
“And most of them are skimpily clad.”
“Hmm”
“What do their fathers say?”(Priceless!!)
4.
In a letter written to his parents,Gopal writes,”the most amazing thing about america is…it is full of americans!”
5.
“How did you manage with the stinky John?”
“who?”
“not who,what…loo is known as John here.”
“Oh..”……probably rooms are named after people thought Gopal , like the way we name Gandhi streets back in India. Well, will they mind naming one room after my name?…how about Goplal Kumar loo?
That is hilarious enough to give you the idea of book I guess.
But mind well,this Gopal is very good when it comes to his academics.His weak english never proves to be a hurdle for his success road….and that is what symbolises the typical Indian flying to the states I think.They leap forward and go there..simply because they deserve it indeed….I second Anurag Mathur when he says….Gopal was never intimidated by the mockery he had to face daily for his weak english and lack of airs….for at his heart he very well knew that he is best at his academics in his class and that is the only thing that counts on the d-day.
On a parting note. .I will say….please read this book if ever you get a chance to, as the book not only entertains you for a few hours but also makes you retrospect and revive your ideas about the life in the tinseltown.

PS:The movie Ramji Londonwale was “inspired” from the same book I guess, still I wont be able to comment about it as I have not seen the movie.

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8 thoughts on “The Inscrutable Americans

  1. that was good.. i have just finished reading the book 5 min back, came online, and checked out ur blog to find a review on it!! some coinicidence.. anyway, i liked the book a lot too.

  2. Dont tell me this is your first post!…You surely have been blogging for a while…If its really your first post…dude…good job.

  3. Thats great.I will definitely read the book,as ur post shows it entertaining enough…..!
    I also like the blog. Great work buddy…go on…..!

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  5. The book is mediocre in how it handles Gopal’s sexual/emotional troubles. It is much brighter in the observations of American culture. I would recommend it to Americans wanting to understand the complexities of dealing with Indians. Americanisms can cause a great deal of confusion and hurt.

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