Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Book Review : 'Deep Singh Blue' by Ranbir Singh Sidhu
Ranbir Singh Sidhu's 'Deep Singh Blue' is a sad tale, yet not so gloomy, after all. Sixteen year old Deep Singh needs to get away, wants to get out not only from his family life and the city in 1980s California, but also his own life. The son of immigrants; (people with very little education), Deep has a once, bright and brainy elder brother.
His brother had not spoken a single word to him for almost a year, but now, he turns to him and tells him to die. He is reading magazine clippings and slipping into a psychosis. His parents do not want to see his illness.
Deep, on the other hand, has an affair with an older, married woman, Lily who is an alcoholic, detests her husband and hates her immigrant Chinese mother. All this, while he is studying at a junior college, where he finds himself being familiarized with drugs, drinking and sex by her. As the story moves forward, we notice that Deep is almost obsessed with Lily. His brother had disappeared, and his parents continue to raise hell.
In the year that has passed, his parents want both boys to settle down with Punjabi girls, and one can see the struggle that Deep goes through. He is living at a weird time, where he is stuck between the ‘American’ dream, and the dream, which his parents have built up for him.
The parents also want 17 year old Deep to follow the Sikh life, pray and behave like the ideal cousin, who is visiting from India. But, in complete opposition to this is the drunken uncle, whose bee keeping dream back home, seems to have rudely disappeared, thanks to Operation Blue Star.
It is his brother’s disappearance or his parents’ desperation with sticking to the roots, or Deep’s blend with the American way or his own bizarre love story. It is up to Deep, to understand why his brother had gone away, up to him to understand his parents’ pain, to even understand his own life story, love, et al.
As one reads on, one kind of laughs, as they feel the comic overtones, but one has to get used to sadness, mixed with the distraction of the coming together of almost everything. (I kind of missed Jag’s story, as it felt like it could have gone somewhere, but it kind of leaves you alone...)
Honestly, I liked the book although I had to re-read it, so I could understand the Sikh family, which was going through its own repercussions, one after the other.
You can Buy the Book, right here.