I always wonder how was it feel when I have to stay abroad, especially in Middle East, Europe and America. Not because I’m against them, no …; in fact, the way my mother raised me were more western then Asian. The value that my mother taught me for some of my relatives were not reflected Asian value. Therefore, even though I’m not staying abroad, I also experienced the culture clash.
My first experience with culture clash was my left-handed. When I was a child, even after I worked in a multi national company, the well-known Bank, people will starred at me because I’m left handed. Some was amazed, some saying that it was unethical. It’s really a nightmare of me. Every time I have to explain why my parents let me write with my left hand.
Anyway, my intention is to give the reason why I read “The Bollywood Beauty”. It started when I saw this book under Asian Literature shelf; the cover fascinated me. With the background of Melbourne, there was a girl holding a cell phone wearing colorful Indian sari and it is not just stop as it is. The bright, typical Indian color, were all over the book. I could not stand myself not to pick the book.
The story, as I’ve been predicted, tells about a culture clash, about discovery and self-discovery of Kesh, an Indian girl who born and bred in Australia.
The writer picture an Indian family who’s never visited India but still keep their culture tradition, sometimes more Indian then people who stay and lives in India.
Live in Australia, where going out with a man, smoke a cigarette, be in the night life society, and consume an alcohol, are something normal; for Kesh parent’s was a big no no.
Be in the family, who were marriage through arrangement, and thought that it was nice to arrange the same way too for their daughter, was something beyond her understanding.
Shalini Akhil, the writer, shares this in her delicious and highly spiced novel. Like Bollywood movie, she put the dishes up tears, laughter, music and food, with a truly scary dinner dance thrown in … and a final happy ending .. just like Bollywood movie except this is a novel “Bolywood Beauty”