11/1/11

India Was One, by An Indian (Review and Giveaway!!!)

4 Stars

ABOUT THE BOOK - …Suddenly, he saw something shiny at the bottom of the abyss. He squinted his eyes to see what it was. He ran back to his binoculars and turned them to see what it was. Sharp barbed wires that separated the two mountains came into focus. He had come as far as he could in his country. But she was standing in another country.
He was in South India and she was in North India…
Have you ever imagined India being divided into two countries? What happens to the millions of Indians who are from South India but are now residing in North India? Kaahi & Jai were two such people who got trapped in this situation. Everything was going smoothly for them and suddenly, their world turned upside down.
How will they get together? Will India become one again?
Take an exciting journey with them from their college days in Mumbai to their life in the US and back to India when they find out that India is divided.

MY REVIEW - The book grabbed me right at the very beginning. The story got a little slow in the middle but really picked up again half way through and I couldn't put it down.  Besides the heartbreaking and intriguing story of Kaahi and Jai, this book is full of Indian history, facts and traditions. I actually loved this part of the book best! I had never read a book about India and truth be told - I didn't really know much about the country. Everything I knew about India I learned from "The Amazing Race" LOL (which was not good stuff).
I am glad the Author takes us on this journey through the beautiful country of India introducing us to its culture. For me I got to see a different side of India that I don't think many Americans get to see.

One of my favorite parts was the wedding and reading about the differences between India and America -
"In the western world, a bride wears a white gown when she gets married and in India plain white is worn by a widow."
"Color is an essential part of any Indian occasion... The wedding being the happiest of occasions, they want to celebrate it with colors."
I was very glad to have this opportunity to read this book to get to know the real India better. This is a fast easy reading love/adventure story full of rich Indian heritage!

An interesting interview with the Author -
 I finished your book, and liked it very much! I learned a lot actually! And my views on India are changed because of you!
-   that is the best complement I’ve received so far.


In my review I stated that all I knew about India I learned on "The Amazing Race" TV show. I think many Americans like myself did not think very highly of India. I was very bias, thinking only negatively - that India was very poor, dirty and over crowded and that's it!
Do you find this to be true of the Americans you meet and is that one of the reasons you wrote the book? To show us a different India?
-          It’s true that India is poor, crowded, dirty, etc. But that is just one side of India. There is a side of India that people are not aware of. I am not trying to put a positive spin on India. I’m just writing as I see it. To me, like many millions, it’s my motherland.


 You now live in America, correct? How long have you lived here, and how often do you get to go back to your homeland - India?
-          Yes, I live in America now. I’ve been here since 1989. I try to go to India every other year. All my family, and my wife’s family is back in India. Me, my wife and our two kids are the only ones here.


Was any part of this story true to you own life? Did you base any of the characters around people you knew and around events in your own experience coming to America?
-          A lot of the story is based on my experiences. I’ve interwoven facts with fiction. That’s why I call it a “realistic-fiction” 


What is your favorite part about living in America?
-          I’ve never given it a thought. It’s home now. I don’t consider myself a “visitor” to list these things.
What is you favorite thing about India?
-          Too many to list.


For people who have not read your book -
What do you want someone to gain by reading this?
-          I don’t know if I am in a position to answer that, but I’d like to quote someone who wrote on Amazon:
"If you are not from India, you probably know a co-worker or a neighbor who is from India and possibly works in the IT industry. You know a bit about him or her but really not very much. If you read this story, you will understand how he or she thinks, the environment in which he or she grew up, in a light, easy, and breezy read. If you are an Indian-American who was born in the U.S. and grew up here, you will also understand a bit more about how your parents and other extended family members from India think. Those who grew up in India will relate to the story and the characters in the story immediately. "

GIVEAWAY - his giveaway is finished - thank you.

8 comments:

  1. Great interview...sounds like a great book. India has always fascinated me. He is right most people think of India as being overcrowded, poor and dirty. I would like to know more.
    RJB
    loki304(at)tds(dot)net

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  2. Wow this sounds really good! Count me in thanks!

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  3. Sounds interesting. Thanks!

    mellocello1 AT juno DOT com

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  4. Indian fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I have to admit that my pulse quickened when I read this review, as the book sounds wonderful! I know a lot about the history of India, and hope to one day travel there and see it all for myself. This was a beautiful review, and I loved the author interview as well. Please do enter me in your very generous giveaway, and thanks so much for hosting it!

    zibilee(at)figearo(dot)net

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  5. Hiii.I am an INDIAN(south indian to be specific).As author said There really is other side of India that most people are not aware of.

    I have been to other countries before,but i think nothing can be compared to our motherland!!(everyone's motherland is unique to them i guess)

    I am really intrested in this book to know how India(South and North) being divided into two countries will be...We already faced this kind of problem(but not south n north though) way back,during our indipendence...whose consequences we are still facing....I think i have to stop now,i am really getting carried away from the main topic..

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    sweety225(at)rocketmail(dot)com

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  6. This book sounds really interesting. I would like to win an ebook version.
    esbaugh@yahoo.com

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  7. Wow this book sounds really interesting! An Indian Romeo and Juliette! Kaahi & Jai, great ethnic names, how do you think they are pronounced and which one is the guy and which one is the girl?

    I know that you have always had a thing against traveling to India. My Bible teacher in school said his daughter went on a mission trip to India and it was poor and dirty and everyone was rude. But in all fairness we're the outsiders, and like you said, from an Indian's perspective there is probably a whole different side to India that we don't even see.

    I love Indian weddings! All the colors and all the beads and henna tattoos! I've seen them on TV and I always thing they are beautiful!

    Great interview, and I love how the author uses reality in her fiction. I love reading a book thinking, this could happen somewhere to someone.

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  8. @Ashley Amanda -

    Kaahi (short for Kahani) is the girl, and Jai (short for Vijay) the boy.

    I am a HE, not a SHE :)

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