In an age when families are becoming more nuclear, Karthik’s family was an aberration: It was a large joint family with its own complications, contradictions and commonalities. Two love stories and a wedding get intertwined within the family at the same time. One of them could make or break the joint family, will the family survive? Will the love story succeed? Will the younger generation respond to the needs of the family? How will the older generation respond to the changing perceptions of the younger generation? Will the family ecosystem survive?
In an India swamped by globalization, this racy and humorous story tries to dissect the generational changes in Indian society and how the Indian society is responding to the changes.
Cover: The cover of the book gives that typical South Indian feels. A temple in the background, a married couple in the front and those little white designs near the title (which seem like rangoli designs to me) make the cover look pretty. The title and the cover here help the reader get the feels of the book prior to reading it.
Storyline: This is an extremely realistic story. A typical Indian family drama. The story revolves around the marriage of Lalitha, the protagonist Karthik’s sister. It involves the love of a brother, how he would do anything to make this marriage happen successfully because Lalitha was there for him during his worst. Also, there is no way that this story would have been complete without some tragic drama. This was made sure of by Karthik’s cousin Neha. Three love stories in the making, this is a kind of a story that every Indian can relate to. The writing was simple yet jargon-ish.
The facts that I appreciated about this book were:
- The concept of generation gap is portrayed beautifully. I loved how the young characters loved and respected their elders and at times, agreed to their povs too.
- Also, the change of mindset of the adults to accommodate the modern day thinking of the young generation and lifestyle is worth appreciating.
- The details of the city Madras is also expressed poetically.
Although there were some things in the book that could have been improved, which included:
- The excessive use of words in the native language of the author. It acted as a hindrance to the flow of the book. Add to it a few writing errors and spelling mistakes.
- The simple storyline. You cannot anticipate any climax because there are none. Most of the scenes are too predictable. There are ups and downs in the story but nothing out of the box.
- The book practically had nothing unique in its plot. This might or might not be the case with Non-Indian readers.
Characters: Allow me to take you on a small ride to to make you aware about the characters of this book:
Karthik, an ‘America returned’ scholar, who does not like his relatives who keep bragging about America and constantly comparing it to India.
Karthik’s grandmother, the most knowledgeable character you will ever come across.
Anirudh, Karthik’s cousin, member of a metal band, who has a special bonding with Karthik. Bro love, you see.
Neha and Nikhil, the American cousins of the protagonist who basically do no tune well with the two brothers.
Lalitha, the sister around whose marriage the whole story revolves.
The character build up was good. The author makes sure that the reader gets well-versed with all the characters. Infact, the reader also knows the family of the protagonist inside out.
Rating: I would give this book 3.5 stars. It can be categorised as an easy read!
Karthik, understand this. There has to be a reason for why joint families have existed for so long in our tradition. The youth of today only looks at what is in the present.
If you want to go ahead and check this book out, click on the links down below.
Buy from Amazon IN:Jamba: The Joint Family