Anjali “Angie” Bose is a young Bengali woman. She excels in her English class, and her American professor has encouraged her to follow the “future of India” to Bangalore. In the meantime, her parents are in the traditional pursuit of a marriage match. Anjali has met tens upon tens of men, but none are what she envisions for her future. When she meets a man who she thinks might be a suitable match, and her parents set up an engagement after things go completely awry on their first date, she decides to take up her future in her own hands, and goes to Bangalore.
She is one of many “Freshers” arriving in Bangalore fresh off the trains and buses each week hoping to find their fortunes. Most of these young Indians work in call centers.
Miss New India is an absorbing portrayal of several groups of Indians: Indian-Americans returning to India, older adults who have prospered do to the influx in technology, and of course the young adults, who are sort of caught between the old traditional culture while trying to make the most of the new one.
I don’t know why I’m drawn to stories by Indian-American authors, but I am. Unlike many stories that I read that are about Indian-American families living in America, Miss New India by Bharati Mukherjee takes place in modern-day India, which makes it unique and interesting in the portrayal of a way of life very unfamiliar to me. The characters were fairly well-developed, but in my mind they were secondary to the changing face of a growing country, and the story did not suffer from this focus at all.
Jennifer Donovan loves learning about different countries, cultures, and characters via books, especially fiction. She blogs at Snapshot.