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"Discovering Brides" is a controversial but entertaining novel about an anthropologist's struggle. With a family history of polygamy, and himself a product of a prearranged marriage, he sets out to perpetuate Indian tradition and find the perfect bride for his U.S.-born lawyer son, and in doing so revives in himself bittersweet memories.
"Discovering Brides" is a bold, fearless story about the controversial cultural and ethical differences that exist in India's male dominated society. A father, and anthropologist, with a family history of polygamy, and himself a product of a prearranged marriage, sets out to perpetuate Indian tradition and find the perfect bride for his U.S. born lawyer son, and in so doing revives in himself memories, both pleasurable and painful.
Vivid depictions of abuse, greed, beating, rape, and unbridled cruelty, amid counter-cultural traditions, penetrate the pages of Chandola's novel. Accepted behavior inherent in one religion, can sometimes seem abhorrent to those of another religious group. Cruelty and inhumaness in others are often disguised in faith and tradition. A woman consumes cow urine because of her encounter with a lower-caste man; a birde groom is beaten by relatives shortly before he is about to be wed. Policemen shoot at unarmed women and rape them during a protest march.
"Discovering Brides" depicts a social and political structure that is impossible to ignore. History meshes with modern day politics, religion with myth, as readers are made aware ancient India's philosophy and the struggle to maintain the old traditions, while embracing today's way of life. Chandola a created a dynamic, thought-provoking, novel, that is educational as well as entertaining.
Posh is lawyer, a vegetarian, and considers himself sexy. He wants a matching girl--a sexy figure (from head to toe, and on top of that a lively girl raised on meatless diet. We must meet this young lawyer's conditions. Or face a chain of arguments. If this, then that. If not this, then not that. Either and or. Neither and nor. In a matter like marriage, we don't understand the logic of the "excluded middle."
...Later, some of those beauties served us dinner. After the dinner, I fell asleep. And in my dream, I saw two women: my mother and grandmother. The older addressed me gently, "Your son shouldn't be afraid. Tell him about his blood 'Your great grandpa had already two wives by your age.'"The younger followed her, not so gently, "tell him 'your grandpa had four children at your age.'" "So what?" I said nervously. Ma looked mad, "Tell him 'You can do.'" "Yes Ma, 'can-do' is an American ideal. He is an American boy". "He is not a boy anymore, you idiot!" With her ghostly hands, Ma grabbed my neck. I got scared, "Ma! Ma! Hold it, hold it. Death must change your attitude." "Nonsense!" and she shook me back and forth. And I woke up to hear our captain's voice "Please fasten your seat belts. We are expecting a few more bumps."