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Hardcover The Sari Shop Book

ISBN: 0393059227

ISBN13: 9780393059229

The Sari Shop

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

*Best Available: (ex-library)

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Book Overview

Ramchand, a tired shop assistant in Sevak Sari House in Amritsar, spends his days patiently showing yards of fabric to the women of "status families" and to the giggling girls who dream of dressing up... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Renee in northern california

Loved this book easy reading hard to put down. I look forward to more from this author

Important first novel

Sari Shop is a thoughtful, earnest and unusually straightforward depiction of the Delhi life among the working poor. The novel's structure is a bit clumsy. The language is not the hyper-clean, fanciful, elegant prose people seem to love in contemporary Indian English-language writers. There are no drunken avatars, scheming matriarchs, spunky research scientists, or sexy-but-ill-fated intercaste romances. But what you do get is a real slice of Delhi life in all its kookiness, violence, desperation and denial. It's funny and devastating, and it's political without being preachy or heavy-handed. Lastly, in response to a reviewer below, I think if you knew any real-life Indian "upper-class belles", you'd find her characterizations there to be totally spot on.

A very good book !

This is a very good book, very well written. Each of the character's in the book are portrayed with skill and very realistically. Through the lives of sari shop assistants, owner and customers, the story depicts the modern day class differences and the multi-layered Indian society very well. Though some people may find it depressing, that's the reality and Ms. Bajwa tackles the issues boldly and illustrates the helplessness of a Sari shop assistant to do anything about it , even though he tries.

"When you explore life, you also explore yourself."

Ramchand has obediently worked as a clerk at the Sevak Sari House in the city of Amritsar, India for eleven years; alternating his time between the Sari shop located in the city's old bazaar and his one room apartment with minimal possessions. His simple life, however, takes a drastic turn when he is ordered to take a selection of saris by bicycle to a prosperous family who is preparing for their eldest daughter's wedding. Upon entering this strange new world of extravagant automobiles, air conditioning, servants, and wall-to-wall plush carpet Ramchand's mind goes in a tailspin. He has never encountered such luxury before and is deeply affected. From this point forward Ramchand's consciousness is awakened to the issues of class that surround him in his everyday life. He becomes interested in the lives of the various woman who visit the sari shop and listen to their conversations revealing their affluent lifestyles and snobbery attitudes towards others. At the same time, and also at the other end of the class spectrum, he becomes acquainted with the dire situation of his co-worker and his wife who reside in a tin shack in a poor section of the city. Ramchand's experiences quickly led him into a dizzying philosophical journey with potential serious ramifications for many.While THE SARI SHOP contains an engaging and highly entertaining plot, Rupa Bajwa's prose is often uneven and lacks a clear direction, especially towards the middle, that can possibly attributed to this being her debut novel. Hopefully her writing skills will improve and she will continue to publish thought-provoking books with memorable characters in the near future. Recommended, especially for those who enjoy Indian literature.

Understated Elegance

In this debut novel by Rupa Bajwa, the story starts in a slow, languorous way, but soon picks up in tempo. Her descriptions are vivid. I actually saw the rows of small houses cluttered together by the narrow lanes of the old Amritsar as I read the novel. Written in simple, clear prose, the book oozes understated elegance. It also reminded me of a vast, dark pond, its water calm, still and ripple-free as on a windless day, but with deep, hidden undercurrents that pull the readers in effortlessly and drown them in her magical world. Ms. Bajwa understands the human heart. Long after I finished the novel, her Ramchand still lingers in my mind. That India is teeming with millions of Ramachands is a sobering thought. She is a truly gifted writer with a smooth voice. I did not come across a single shrill sentence. An astounding first novel.
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