Monday, January 14, 2008

Keeping Corner By: Rasmira Sheth

This is a novel about growing up in a traditional Indian family in India. It's interesting to note that arranged marriages are still done. The parent's plan whom the daughter's husband will be at a young age. Throughout the novel we learn about clothing, and colors of Sarais worn at different times. Women also use bangles, or bracelets daily. This will indicate the wealth of a person by how many gold bangles are worn.

In India one of the instruments is called "tampura", which is a one string instrument that looks a bit like a ukeleli. A widow in India has many traditions to follow . The ninth day of mourning is the most important day after a person dies. Neighbors come, and mourn, and actually cry at the widow's house.

Indian people have their own literature to read. One of the books is a famous Epic story of the struggle between cousins. Leela is the woman who lost her love, and had to cut her long hair. In fact, tradition has children cut their hair at 18 months for religious reasons. Leela could not wear black, it meant bad luck. Leela wore a new white sari with a blue border when she left for the cremation ceremony.

Finally, Leela's parent's let her have a school teacher at home to continue her schooling. Now I know why the novel is called "Keeping Corner." That is a term in India used for widows who do not leave their house in any circumstances for one year after death of husband.

Leela had a brother called Kambhai, who was her friend, and companion who took the time to walk her to School to take her exams. The brother is very close to Leela; but lives in a different town. Leela had to wait for her results from her school exams. When Leela received her results from School exams she received a scholarship to continue her studies.

Many Indians use mango pulp to make many things "Roti" is a sweet, or a dessert that is yummy. Throughout the novel there is a lot of political turmoil that coninues. It was basically,Indians against the British rule.

The day Leela leaves her village to further her Education, her brother Kamubhai goes with her sister on a train to a larger city, This is a big step for Leela leaving family, and friends.

This novel is a good read for teens who face changes, and goals in life.

1/14/08 LD

No comments: