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This week I devoured "Secret Daughter" by Shilpi Somoya Gowda, and loved ever page of it. I have had a love for literature focusing on women from other countries/backgrounds since I took a class in my second year of University in International Women's Literature. I had the most gracious, intelligent, sophisticated professor (who's name I wish I could recall) who was born and raised in India. I really admired her for so many reasons, and I think she personally got me hooked on the culture of India and Pakistan in literature, and I am always enthralled with every book I read from that setting.
This novel certainly delivered. It was a poignant story of the intertwined lives of three very different women. One a lower caste farmer's wife from a village outside of Mumbai who must give up her infant daughter for adoption in order to spare her from infanticide. The other, a Californian Doctor struggling with infertility who, along with her Indian husband, adopt a little girl from India. Tying it all together is the young girl herself, Asha Thakkar, torn between wanting to bond with her adoptive mother and finding her identity in the mother who gave her up.
It is very much along the same lines as the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" in it's effort to take a hard, objective, but still celebratory look at the culture and society of India, which the book describes as a "Five star pile of contradictions". The narrative is haunting, and melodic and for a white westerner like me, gave me that little taste of India in all her mysterious chaos, like a jolt of curry and sweet mango.
okay, enough of that, cause I could go on and really embarrass myself :)
I also found a little bit of time trying to crochet myself a doily. Yes, you read that correct; a doily. Now, I have always been an old soul on the inside but crocheting doilies is still taking it a bit far even in my opinion. So instead of doily, I'm going to call it a place mat and explain further, that this place mat I am trying to crochet is supposed to substitute for the cute sea-grass one I saw at Ikea the other day and didn't bring home with me because a little voice inside my head said, "No, see if you can make it before you buy it."
"hmmmmm...." I thought, "there's a concept for a whole new blog right there....."
and then I put the place mat back on the shelf and walked out of the store; determined to wrangle my spool of jute at home into something just as cute as the store's wares.
Only jute is not fun to crochet with.
No, my friends, it is scratchy and rough and does not submit to crochet hooks or my will very easily,
At times, sitting there on the couch while distracted by the very intelligent sounding people on reruns of "The West Wing", I felt distinctly like a fishermen mending nets....alas with no sunshine on my back or ocean spray on my face.
The doily is only half finished... it may actually just stay that way forever. It looks much less like a hip sea-grass place mat and much more like a scratchy brown doily than I had hoped and so it may just be worth abandoning. Besides there are babies about to be born all around me and so many little things to be made out of soft lovely wool in soft lovely colors...and that get's me quite a bit more jazzed.
And as if on top of all this rationale, I had time to crochet anything anyways... for my life is indeed crazy on somedays..... one sometimes feels like taking off for a distant land... like India perhaps?
Or at least another shopping trip to Ikea to pick up the sea-grass place mat I should've just got that day anyway.....