Thursday, January 16, 2014

Life in Transit, and an Incurable Insanity

Today I'm delighted to welcome Simi K. Rao, author of An Incurable Insanity, to my blog. As you read her post, you'll probably guess what attracted me to her book.

Life in transit

One of the most pleasurable aspects of writing for me is being able to connect with my readers on several different wavelengths; some of which I can tell you don’t even cross my mind when I’m penning my stories. This is not only rewarding but also very refreshing, particularly in my case as the typical greeting I’m used to is a handshake followed by: "Hi doc, here's my list of complaints for today."

One such facet that has brought me closer to my audience is sharing my experiences as an immigrant. America, being a land of opportunity is also a melting pot of various cultures. Therefore it’s not surprising that people of different countries share something very similar though they may all hail from places they haven’t even heard of.

The ordeal could perhaps be likened to a fish being dumped into a brand new pond. After surviving the initial shock: everything is BIG (2 filter coffees could fit into a short cappuccino) and clean; I mean squeaky clean (you could serve dinner on the sidewalk!) Where cops look like movie stars on steroids and jaywalking is illegal, so on and so forth. Reality sinks in when you realize that you are here to stay and not just visit. You have to adapt to a new norm or die trying. And I’m not being moribund on purpose. Most of us accomplish this exercise with aplomb. Certain tasks are fairly easy and improve with time such as learning to speak a new language (American English is an entire different ball game), driving on the right side of the road, obeying traffic rules, waiting for your turn, cooking your own food, washing your own clothes, calling ahead before every social visit, and the list goes on and on. Yet when it comes to pining for the company of loved ones it’s like dealing with a prolonged period of homesickness.

The adjustment continues in some form or another, despite years having gone by. We try making new friends and building new kinships. We rediscover our roots. We also try instilling a love of culture into our children, some of whom struggle with an identity crisis of their own; of being ABCDs (American Born Confused Desis).

In conclusion, I’m not sure if given the opportunity, I’ll make the move again. But in the very least, my experiences have provided me with much fodder for my writings which I hope I’ll continue to share with you in the future. Thanks for reading. Wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Thank you Simi. As an immigrant to the US from the UK, I can relate to many of the things you say. And that blend of cultures is part of what attracted me to your book when I saw the blurb on a Book Review Tours request. I'm delighted to be able to virtually meet you here on my blog.

Of course, it takes three things to really attract me to a book (I like the number three), so here's Simi's book blurb for An Incurable Insanity, with a challenge: Can you spot the other two things which caught my eye?

About the book:

Her heart fluttered when she heard the sound of the key turn in the lock. She quickly adjusted her maroon silk sari with the yellow border, the one that had caught his eye, and waited eagerly for his footsteps. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... Yes, exactly seven steps before he stopped, hesitated for a few moments, then removed his shoes one by one and arranged them neatly side by side on the shoe rack. She smiled. He had been mindful of taking his shoes off every day now. "I am not used to it, but I will if you want me to. It's probably a good thing to do anyway." As he settled down, he would pick up the TV remote and, without looking at her, would say in his smooth baritone, "So how did you spend your day, anything interesting?" Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.

Besides the cross-cultural feel of "American girl,"  the number seven called out to my love of numbers, making two reasons I'd want to read this book. Then in third place, there's that enticing blend of senses--listening for sounds, the touch of exotic silk, the caught eye, plus thought and words (I'm convinced thoughts are a sense too). So I'm three-ways hooked, and I really hope to read this book sometime soon.

About the author:

Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. Her contemporary romance novel An Incurable Insanity, published by Tate Publishing, was released on October 8, 2013. An Incurable Insanity is her first foray into writing. The inspiration for the story came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community. Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances. She also writes poetry, is an avid photographer, loves to travel, and is a practicing physician. She currently lives in Denver with her family.

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