- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Read Out Loud Publishing LLP; First Edition edition (2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8193136063
- ISBN-13: 978-8193136065
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,20,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jamba: The Joint Family Paperback – 2016
"The book's a great read with an attractive theme and varied characters. I enjoyed reading it."
-- Amish Tripathi, Bestselling author of The Shiva Trilogy
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 eco-system 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.
Praise for the book
"Sriram is a delightful new voice. He writes with verve and humor. And he understand that bewildering institution: the Great Indian Family"
-- Hindol Sengupta, Writer & Editor at Fortune India.
"This is the tale of a wedding, actually two weddings. At once over the top & vividly contemporary, it tells of the dynamics of the indian middle class family simultaneously negotiating tradition and modernity. Sriram does a great job of describing NRI cousins, old college rivalries and inter-generational relationships"
-- Sanjeev Sanyal, Economist & Bestselling Writer
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Top customer reviews
Karthik lives with his paternal grandmother, Jamba Patti, in Madras. He dreams of becoming a journalist. While his parents live in Dubai, Jamba patti is his guiding light. Their love is mutual. His maternal side of the family is a big joint family of 13 members living on three floors of an ancient house, Vrindavan, in Mylapore in Madras. It is this story of the joint family of a Tamil Brahmin community, that the author walks us through. – the drama, the traditions, the food and Chennai city is beautifully narrated with adequate dose of humour. Since I had been in Chennai for two years, reading about the city was like re-living those days and hence the story felt more personal to me.
What caught my attention was the beautiful typesetting and it was a delight to read on my Kindle with fancy patterns on the pages. I do like the cover photo but the title misleading. The character build up is good with detailed understanding of generation gap and the TamBrahm slang. Though there is an excessive usage of the TamBrahm language, I enjoyed the story which was simple and mostly predictable. The young lots respecting the elders and the latter accommodating the interests of the young generation is a commendable detail.
It’s a laughing riot and a good read!
Verdict: 3.5 on 5
The uniqueness of this (personal?) fiction spans two dimensions - the Tamil Brahmin (Tam-Brahm) culture and the joint family nitty-gritty details. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first work in English fiction that covers these two dimensions. The story is written in a breezy manner; there is no loss of tempo and the author keeps the youthful humor coming every now and then. The primary source of humor is the conversation between the protagonist-narrator Karthik and his cousin Anirudh. The author has done a fair job of representation of the Tam-Brahm culture - its food, some religious customs, and orthodoxy. The joint family melee, mutual concern, and how they get together on an occassion are captured well. There are some cinematic moments, like the "love scenes" in a Tamil cinema which appeared a little too dramatic to me; but that's only a brief passing current in the whole story. The author's attention to details, for instance, one of the uncles tossing his beeda and the materials involved in a Tam-Brahm wedding, deserves appreciation. The climax appears to be a little hurried-up. I guess that's because the narrator himself isn't too bothered about what happens after he achieved what he wanted. I also felt that the grandmother Jamba didn't have much role to play. It was Karthik who was all over the story. Although several elders appear in the narration, the book is more biased towards the younger generation. The youngsters' voice seem to resonate more in the narration. An index for the Tamil words used in the book might help the non-Tamil readers.
Overall, the book is worth a read for its breezy, light-hearted narration, and a unique attempt.
The book is written in Karthik's first person narrative.
Karthik has his priorities perfect, unlike most people in reality.
He loves (or rather worships) and appreciates his grandmother.
He has no grudges against his parents, who couldn't spend much time with him.
He moans about the extended family but clearly is fond of them. And in some cases, would rather tolerate them than disappoint the others in the family.
He is a good guy, sensitive beyond his years, and yet so naive.
Jamba The Joint Family is basically a celebration of the good old tradition of joint families. Thus there are many people that are introduced in the book. Some important to the plot. Others are not.
There is a lot of scattered information given that doesn't find a place in the actual plot, leaving many important things either unresolved or just giving a glimpse of them and then not mentioning them again.
One such instance is of Karthik's cousin Lalitha (I so wish she hadn't been called Lalu), who has some deformity in her legs. It is her marriage that makes for the background of this story. I would have wanted to know more about her.
My problem is that I am too much of a realist (or should I say cynic).
I can relate more to the quirkiness of an imperfect relationship than this all good relationship the author portrays.
I feel this story is too idealistic.
Keep that aside, and it makes for a fine, if too verbose, read about the Tamilian culture and a filmy plot where everything falls into place in the end.
This book is a celebration of the Big Indian Joint Family.
Jamba The Joint Family is a story with a message. Even though there are twists in the plot that belie reasoning, the author brings home the fact that family despite all its' idiosyncrasies comes first.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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