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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Book Review : ‘Asmara's Summer' by Andaleeb Wajid



I know a little bit of Bangalore. In fact, it remains my favourite place after spending two years doing my masters there. And of course, when I received this book, I was desperate to read it. And Andaleeb Wajid scores again, this time with her latest, 'Asmara's Summer'.

This time she has taken us into Tannery Road, a whole new road for me, at least, considering I had never heard of it. For Asmara too, considering she never liked it too much. But Asmara, who had never really been there, ends up right in the middle of her grandparents’ home and their ways in Tannery Road.

Asmara, who was supposed to go to Canada for that summer, ends up dragging her feet to Tannery Road. She had managed to keep it a secret from her friends, and she did not want to give it away. So, she decided to be off social media for a full month. The jeans and tops wearing Asmara is now compelled to wear salwar kameez by her sweet but kind of strict grandmother. Grudgingly, she agrees. 

As she begins to settle in, she ends up meeting a girl in the neighbourhood, and her grandmother. The girl is sweet, but her grandmother is another story, altogether. She is grouchy towards Asmara, and keeps on saying mean stuff about her mother. Asmara wants to figure out why. She also ends up noticing a young man, who is busy working out. The engineering student ends up showing her a new life and the locality, which she thought she could never even like. 

Asmara goes around the road, and ends up clicking enough snaps, and putting them up on Instagram, with a whole new fake name. She also ends up shopping for loud and blingy stuff at Baithul Maal. She also discovers her friend, the sweet girl, Rukhsana’s talent for stitching and embroidery. Mixed with the with the social and economic issues that, end up rubbing the right way in spite of the economic differences, and lessons in fashion.

Andaleeb Wajid
In between her grandmother’s biryani and firni, the poor little rich girl, ends up finding out a lot more about her own mother and even herself. She discovers love for her curious old grandmother, an affection mixed with sympathy for her new friend, a crush for the hunky looking boy, who ends up being that very girl’s brother, and a dislike for the neighbour. 

Wajid has a bittersweet form of expression, and her way of telling a story, with a few opinions which, end up hitting the point. The religious issues along the cultural ways of the world, is what hits the nail in the head.

 I liked this book, because it made me look at Bangalore with a whole new perspective. And, also because Andaleeb Wajid does have a way with words.

 


You can Buy the Book, right here.
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