UPROOTED EMOTIONS! From An-Other Land: Making Home in the Land of Dreams by Tanushree Ghosh #BookReview

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The stories in the book, From An-other Land: Making Home in the Land of Dreams, are about the American Indians or the NRI’s who wished for the ‘Great American Dream’. Whether they achieved it or not, found their perfect life abroad or not is left expertly to the reader to discern.

The author has a collection of stories about people from all walks of life, different parts of India, yet all of them who have made America their home. The lengths they go to reach the land of their dreams. Some reluctant, some eager; quite unaware of the repercussions of the decisions they make. How their life changes, freedom for one while a cage for another while ‘From An-Other Land’.

The book, From An-Other Land has a collection of fifteen stories.
1. The Line is the first story that introduces all the characters in the other stories. The author had very deftly introduced and linked the people, places and stories with this and culminates it in The Haboob as the final story.

2. Meera is nothing in front of a visa, her life, her marriage, even her self-respect is sacrificed for the elusive NRI tag. That her family and husband think it’s alright makes it worse. However, I did like the way she finally finds herself in the USA.

3. Tarun & Michelle are two lonely souls looking for love but not really seeing it. Not only are the migrants lonely but any person can feel alone and left out. Such is the pace and frenzy of our technologically run lives that we can’t find love and companionship in spite of it.

4. Raji & the House, a reflection that even though we all yearn for that big house, beautiful and expensive decor, it can become our trap. Does luxury make us thrifty or is it just a status symbol that chains us?

5. The Biswas Family: Here & There follows the most deeply felt theme of the book⸺loneliness. A father in India, a daughter-in-law in the US; even though both have families, are connected but feel so alone. Retired or a housewife, it is a prison sentence since they have no means of moving around, travelling, making friends.

6. Purple Days is the story of Ira, another aspect of being left alone, facing life after death. So deeply has the author portrayed this chasm of loneliness that I felt the emptiness she wrote to express the emotions Ira felt.

7. Ambition is the story of Asti & Tiyash, their goals and aspirations, the duplicity of human nature. A person can be in the best place in the world yet feel incomplete.

8. [email protected] Next is a window into the western work culture. The story of how both the youngsters and the senior lot can be biased or kind, about not making assumptions. This is a universal story and not just for a US office.

9. A Happy Marriage is what we see but do we ever see and understand the cracks and how they are filled. Is your love the love of your life? Are you the first love or the last love? Difficult questions but real, harsh ones we must look into.

10. The Chinese Lady & Sree looks at the double standards we have, how our opinions change and appearances matter more than character.

11. All Lives Matter as is evident from the name is about police brutality, riots and facing a senseless killing and overcoming losing a loved one. Finding new beginnings after facing a mindless loss and how two people find joy.

12. Badrinath’s Bride talks of aspirations, dreams and success but at what cost? How, when and where can we be true to ourselves and embrace who we are?

13. Under the Seventh Tree speaks of our middle-class aspirations and at what cost. How a loved one can be someone we may find under unusual circumstances. Is a saviour really a well-wisher or is Ash changing one tormenter for another and how she finds her salvation?

14. A Tale of Two Cities is about the battle with post-partum depression, along with a mother’s guilt. Quite deep and shows the helplessness of all parties in this far-reaching issue.

15. The Haboob is the final story of the book and binds the stories together. The characters and stories intertwine and conclude with finesse. The situations bind the stories and the book.

From Another Land: Making Home in the Land of Dreams
winds up like a well-oiled machine with the NRI theme and how it is the pinnacle of someone’s life while another yearns for the freedom back home. The theme is such that it shares about the characters and emotions of the human psyche and lends a bit dark element to the book. However, I found the stories very interesting as they delved into the evil, negativity, shrewd and cunning behaviour of humans.

The yearning for love, acceptance and friendship was the other side of these stories that lifted the book and kept me interested in knowing more, finding what motivates the characters.

Overall, From An-Other Land is a well-written book on a topic that will find favour with everyone since working and living in the USA is a dream for scores of humans.



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From An-Other Land: Making Home in the Land of Dreams by Tanushree Ghosh

Given the chance, would you be ready to immigrate. A majority would probably answer ‘Yes’. Yet, immigrants are looked at with either contempt or segregation and rarely compassion, in their motherland and abroad. Post The 2016 US elections, The rhetoric is further reverberating. From cancellation of refugee protection, zero tolerance and undercurrent crackdown on H visas to racism, profiling and discrimination—the resurgence of nationalism is hitting The globalised population head-on. But what is immigration today. A question of life or death. A fleeing of persecution. A compulsion. Or a mere pursuance of privilege. And, what is USA today, especially for Indians. From An-Other Land is a reality check and an emotional guide for anyone who wants to understand modern-day immigration to USA.


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