Sunday, October 31, 2010

Questions to ponder...

Hello BFABers,

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Nat B's on Tuesday night. Can you believe it's been a month already? She said that she has some great, but long winded I thought I would post a few to get us thinking about the book (especially for those who read it months ago and need reminders of the story)!

There are so many great reflection/ discussion questions out there, but here are some of my favourites:

1. Kavita faces a difficult choice at the beginning of the novel. Did she make the right decision? What would you have done if you were in Kavita's place? What would the repercussions be of making a different choice?

2. Both families in the novel leave their home in search of better life --- the Merchants leave their village for Bombay, and Krishnan leaves India for America --- and this act of migration creates longing for home and feelings of displacement. Do you think their migrations were driven more by wanting to leave home or being attracted to a new place? Would the characters have made different choices if they knew what the consequences would be?

3. The novel explores the issue of how gender affects one's role in society, both in India and the United States. Despite much of the obvious discrimination women face in India, Sarla Thakkar believes, "you can't always see the power women hold, but it is there…" In what ways is this true? What are the benefits and drawbacks of being a woman in each of these countries? Are there any similarities in the female experience across the two cultures?

4. What do you believe Kavita and Jasu are feeling and thinking at the end of the novel? Were you surprised at the ending? Did you find it satisfying? How did your view of Jasu's character change from the beginning, and why? What do you imagine happens to these families next?

So as I was searching for questions, I came across this. If only we had been more organized, we could have had Shilpi Gowda chatting with us on Skype while holding our own autographed books!! How cool would that have been? Then, we would be forced to stay on topic for longer than 20 minutes!!!

See you on Tuesday,


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