Amreekandesi - Masters of America

Amreekandesi - Masters of America - Atulya Mahajan Going to America for studies and jobs and settling down there is the dream of millions of Indian youth. For them America is the country of hopes and opportunities. Akhil Arora is one such Indian soul hailing from Delhi. While on one hand, he cannot wait to get away from home on the other hand he dreams of returning to India to do his country some good. He is the ‘Swades’ boy. Jaspreet Singh is yet another Indian soul from a village in Punjab who wishes to go to America. His aspirations are however different from Akhil’s as he dreams of a life right out of American pie. After working odd jobs for a year, when he is accepted in an American university, Akil and Jaspreet find themselves as roommates.

First comes what I did like about this book. The novel deals with the difference between our dreams and the facts of life there and how these two boys, who are poles apart, deal with it. Also, it touches the subjects of parental pressures, personal ambitions and racism even though they fail to make an overall impact. I also, like the author’s witty/humorous take that did make me laugh out once in a while.

What I didn’t like is that this novel managed to stereotype people in the most practised manner. I know it’s the way of life for us Indians, but it is also one habit that we seriously need to break. Stereotyping people, with no matter what intentions, when you are reaching out to million is one habit that our authors and filmmakers need to break out of. Also, sex! Yes we know all the boys are driven by only hormones – no need to point it out to us again and again all the while objectifying the women around them. Jassi’s fixation on ‘Pamelaji’ is simply crazy.

A promising outline, but commercializing the product took the good parts out of the book. While the issues could have been outlined better, selling the book through sex spoiled it for me.