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Monday, October 31, 2005

India Awaiting

The New York Times reviews a new off-Broadway production of a play that deals with Indian assimilation in the United States. And no, it's not written by the prolific Chitra Banerjee-Divakaruni but, unusually, by an American playwright:

"The tensions of assimilation in the Indian diaspora have been at the center of numerous novels and films, by artists like Hanif Kureishi and Mira Nair. But the playwright Anne Marie Cummings is among the first to bring that experience to the American stage with 'India Awaiting,' an engaging if sometimes shallow variation on the theme of cross-cultural love."

One supposes the primary reason the word "shallow" is included in the above sentence is that the plot of the play is the usual one of Indian boy-meets-American-girl. Cliched it may be, but what better way of bringing out cultural and class differences? Jane Austen and Henry James, to take but two examples, built writing careers by doing just that.

8 Comments:

  • thats the lady who wrote 'sister of my soul', right? a friend of mine told me about the book but unfortunately I wasnt able to get hold of it at that time, and then I forgot about it - Thanks for reminding me!

    By Blogger Prerona, at 11:38 PM  

  • maybe its just a reference to the way the theme has been treated rather than the desi meets gori angle?

    By Blogger Prerona, at 11:40 PM  

  • True, actually. Other reviews have been dismissive, too.

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 8:43 AM  

  • hmmmmmm.

    By Blogger Prerona, at 4:43 PM  

  • I just saw that play today and thought it was incredibly disappointing.

    My God, when will someone say something new about the Indian boy/white girl situ??? Before the lights went down, the playwrite introduced herself to the couple sitting next to me and said she see them at the intermission, and boy, I wish I had seen her because I would have loved to have known why exactly did she feel compelled to write this play and what was her point?

    Maybe it's just that different works resonate differently with various people depending on their prior experiences and what they've been exposed to, and this play would have served as an Intro to Indian Interracial Dating 101, but really, for anyone who's endured any one of those godawful ABCD movies in the past five years would not learn anything new at this play, nor be struck by the different approach the writer took.

    Best line from the play (not an excat quote, but close enough): "Arre yaar, you're not going to abandon your family for some arty-farty white girl, are you?" Ugh.

    By Blogger Olinda, at 2:16 PM  

  • Sounds dreadful. What a pity.

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 4:26 PM  

  • Olinda is a fool. I saw that play and loved it. I met the playwright too and thought what an incredibly brave writer and very talented at that! Time OUt New York gave it a great review and wonderfully said. I'm sure if the playwright met you Olinda she would have laughed in your face!

    By Blogger dominick, at 5:30 AM  

  • Also, I've never seen a play tell this story like India Awaiting. It's just as much as play about finding your roots and letting go or holding on than it is about love. I identied and I'm not Indian. Bravo to Ms. Cummings!

    By Blogger dominick, at 6:30 AM  

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