For a very long time recently, I am back to square one.Yeah,I have been reading nothing else than tamil fiction.One such novel that held my attention was Dollar Marumagal (daughter in law) by Sudha Murthy. None else than the wife of NRN, the co-founder of Infosys.
It was initially written in kannada in the name, "dollar sosai" not dosai, sosai which in kannada means daughter in law. It is also a text book in mysore university. It has also been translated in telugu, hindi and marathi. Even it has come has teleserial in Zee. Hope our Radhikaa doesn't comes as the heroine either in sun or kalaignar tv
Our hero is the ambitious younger son of a middle class family with an elder brother who leads a contented life.The story begins with, hero(technically speaking, he cant be called hero!!To know why keep reading) hearing a sweet voice in the train, get to meet the girl,sacrifices his berth to her due to a confusion in the ticket allotment by the clerk(which company wrote the software for the railway ticketing system?) ends up staying in the house of the girl,comes to know her life is filled with grief, the girl takes care of him during his arm fracture. Well, what else he falls in love with that girl. (Poor hero doesnt have guts like NRN, who proposed the sudha, the author herself)
In the mean while, he gets a job in TCS,(does the skipping, earns a lot more in dollars. Being a NRI,He gets married to a girl from a rich family during his vacation to india and takes her back to US.
If you havent guessed, the girl with who he has fallen in love will end up as wife to your elder brother, either you havent watched any of the balachander movies or you havent been reading this post with your fullest concentration.(You gotta concentrate in Reading comprhension section, if you are appearing to CAT this year)
Well, the story is not all about a guy who lost his lady love being ambitious and chasing dollars. It is not all about just another day in today's IT techie life,though it portrays it. It is all about the knowledge transfer(odyssey of meeting with long term people) that happens to a mother to be precise the mother in law during a short term visit of the with two daughter in laws, one at onsite(america) and the other at offshore(india).
She gets to interact with different types of NRI's hearing about their "ABCD's (American Born Confused Desi's) as well as the ground reality about her dollar daughter in law.she gets an insight about, People not interfering in other personal lives, man and woman sharing the domestic chores in an equal fashion, Festivals being postponed to week ends and racism.
At one instance in the novel, the mother in law travels alone in a less crowded bus. When she goes and sit near a old lady of her age, the old lady moves away and sits in another seat. The mother in law compares this to an incident where she sacrificed a seat to travel in a crowded corporate bus, when a sweeper woman sat near her. (what else could be an eye opener, even though it could be a land of opportunities irrespective of caste, it is a land with difference to color)
I wouldn't be surprised, if the novel is nothing else but a collection of the account of true stories several NRI's.
This is not something written in mind to act as detrimental effect to avoid the long term guys making a skip(pun intended). as well as to paint a bleak picture that migration and settling down at US is dangerous. It is not to emphazize,"east or west, home is best"
Still,I strongly feel that it is a must to be read by all the software guys, girls and their parents as well as non-software people.(Because everybody lives in illusion) hence a post in english about a tamil novel. (I remember seeing the same title even in english.)