Atulya Mahajan’s debut novel Amreekan desi is about two Indian boys with the similar dream of making a livelihood in America. With many stereotypes, the story relates how these Indian students get together in the US whilst they are searching for their so-called-American Dream. Akhil Arora and Jaspreet Singh are the protagonists of this novel. They become friends in this foreign land.
These two characters are from different states Delhi and Punjab in India, . Akhil is portrayed as a young engineer studying in Delhi longing for freedom from his pompous family and wants to prove that he is capable of managing his own life. Jaspreet or Jassi, lives in small town in Punjab. He too like Akhil, wishes to live the American dream. Jassi and Akhil meet in Florida and become roommates. While studying in the States, they apply for jobs for their survival purpose. Eventually, they become best of friends and share their hopes and dreams with each other.
Both characters are contrasting with respect to their outlook. Akhil, a true patriot, wishes to return India after spending a few years abroad. While, Jassi does not seem happy to carry on with his Indian identity as it makes him feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. So, he plans to lookout for an American girl and make a living in America. However, Akhil falls in love with Nandita, a girl he met on the flight; Jassi’s dream of living an American life is shattered at every step.
Amreekan desi has witty insights and hilarious anecdotes. While bringing out the archetypal experience of an immigrant, the author focuses on an important issue like cultural shock, how people change when they live in a foreign country forgetting the values which one inherits since birth, issues with identity and struggling to have a basic need for survival in a foreign place.
A good read though. Loved the way it is edited. And also the narratives stereotyped were something that amused me.
P.S. I received this book from Readers Cosmo and in return I promised them an honest and unbiased review.
(c) Reviewed by Sridevi Nayak Karopady