Monday, 19 February 2018

"Indian Takeaway" by Hardeep Singh Kohli - February 2018

INDIAN TAKEAWAY is the tale of British Indian Hardeep Singh Kohli's attempt to "find" the real India through travelling the subcontinent and cooking British meals for bemused natives. The author doesn't find what he is looking for, but he does discover more about himself and his relationship with his family, particularly his father.

The book was often funny, mostly entertaining and a light read. It would, in fact, be a good read on a journey. Some members of the reading group found it rather repetitive and agreed that it would have been a much better read had it had a good edit.

One of the two main areas where the author did score praise was in his evocation of place, railway stations in particular. One member of the group said that she saw and smelt the environment, so well was it described. Another said she could clearly see all the characters that were written about.

The other area of praise was in the author's honesty. He was honest about his relationship with his family: he did not gloss over the difficulties he had had with a sibling. He also made no excuses for his own failures, but recognised them and wrote about them. He knew himself well enough to know that, although he wanted to experience "genuine" India, if the choice was between living as the majority of Indians, or staying in nice hotels and resorts, he'd take the latter.
By Jasmina

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