Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Immigrant by Manju Kapoor

Title : The Immigrant
Author : Manju Kapoor
Publisher : Random House India

'The immigrant' is the story of a thirty-year old Nina who has apparently missed the bus of matrimony at the right time. But one fine day, unexpectedly a proposal arrives from a dentist Ananda settled in far away lands of Halifax, Canada. The marriage arranged by their respective families takes place and Nina leaves her home and country with stars in her eyes to the alien lands. But within a short period of time, the stars disappear and reality stares hard in their faces. The rest of the story revolves around the obvious - managing finances and loans, getting foothold in the foreign country, warding off boredom because of lack of human interaction while dealing with some very personal issues between the two of them.

The background is not unique, many books have already been written on this subject. 'The immigrant' is actually the story of incompatibility emotionally and physically, cheating, feeling cheated, search for identity, disillusionment and much more. But as the story progresses none of the two protagonists manages to strike any chord with the readers. The seem to be working on a very shallow plane and the story fails to become a genuine one. The story felt like progressing on a single track only whereas in relationships that is hardly the case. The mention of the political situation of the country at couple of places is left dangling in the middle of nowhere. It did not do anything other than adding the timestamp to the saga.

I always say and continue to feel the need to say it every time I end up feeling cheated by a book -

The readable fiction generally falls in either of these two broad categories: 1) Books offering some unique idea, out of the box thought, new plot or some extraordinary event which has never been presented before.  2)  Books working on known plots or ideas but the outstanding handling and packaging enable them to rise about the rest. By handling and packaging I mean - either the narration is very witty or engaging or is presented in such a fashion that something is there for the readers to savor.

Unfortunately 'The Immigrant' did nothing for me.

I am not sure if this book went through any editing iterations because it is very hard to ignore blatant mistakes like - the mother of the protagonist being referred to as Mr. Batra throughout the book and there are more name mix-ups at other places too.

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