The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal


While attending a writer’s residency,  a speaker described how he sees Asian writers,  female writers in particular. Chinese writers love to write about heroines suffering under wars, mother-in-laws and generally just having hard lives. Indian writers on the other hand follow the formula of marriage, monsoon and mango. The reason was simple. That’s what the west wants to read.

After the residency;  I found on my shelf a book written by an Indian woman and published by Kensington, publisher for romantic fictions. I must have purchased this book during a warehouse sale. I decided this is the best time to read it.

I have not read many Indian writers but my favourite book is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, although I am hazy about the story now.

An Indian romance set in USA sounds plausible given their liberal upbringing as Americans,  but would it include sex as well as featured on other Kensington romances by Caucasian writers?

In a world where matchmaking and marriage are still very much handled by parents,  how far could an American Indian woman go?

Meena is a 31 year old working in an IT firm owned by Prajay,  39, from the same ethnic group. She is petite while he is a giant and that’s the only conflict that’s stopping them from being together. He wants her to help him draft a personal ad for a wife and even enlisted her help to find a suitable candidate,  while oblivious to her affections for him.

She wants to be married and agrees to a blind date set up by an aunt. She hopes to use the blind date to make Prajay jealous and it works.

Considering the furthest the romance go is a kiss here and there, it’s surprising to read that Meena lost her virginity in a drunkard stupor.

It’s not surprising though,  to read how an Indian company in New Jersey ends up hiring 80% Indians,  much like how it is here in Singapore.

The book is light and despite the Indian backdrop,  could be any setting for an Asian romance,  since Asian marriages generally involve the approvals of parents and the involvement of extended families.

I could write a book like that too,  I guess.


About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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