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The Sari Shop (English)

Author: Rupa Bajwa
Paperback
Language: English
Length: 256 Pages
Publisher: Penguin
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The Sari Shop (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.173

The Sari Shop is a darkly funny, honest and yet a profoundly poignant debut novel written by Rupa Bajwa. The book was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize. It is the winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Grinzane Cavour Prize, and the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award.

Summary of the Book

Meet Ramchand, he works at the Sevak Sari House in Amritsar. It is yet another working day and he is late yet again. He hurries through the tapered streets to the sari house, a shop which is pretty much buried in the heart of one of the main bazaars in the town. Ramchand and his colleagues are used to rolling and unrolling yards of Bangladesh cottons and Banaras silks all day long. One afternoon, Ramchand is asked to carry the carefully selected trousseau to a new part of the city. This short trip to the Kapoor house pushes him out of the routine rhythm of his life. He is suddenly faced with all the wonderful possibilities of life. Ramchand thus sets out to realize his childhood dream, with a fresh pair of socks, a bar of Lifebuoy soap, a second-hand English grammar book and an old, battered Oxford Dictionary. But Ramchand soon realizes it wasn’t a dream that was meant for him to realize. His plans are turned upside down and he comes face to face with the harsh reality of life. Find out what happens to this boy with big dreams in this remarkably honest story.

About Rupa Bajwa

Rupa Bajwa is an Indian writer. She was born in Amritsar in 1976. Her debut novel The Sari Shop was published in the year 2004, which won her several prestigious awards. The book has been translated into many other Indian and foreign languages, including French, Dutch and Siberian. Her controversial literary piece Dark Things Do Happen in Gurdwaras Sometimes in The Telegraph invited severe criticisms from the Sikh clergy. Rupa also pens reviews and other articles in The telegraph, India Today and The Tribune. She has also authored the book Tell Me a Story.

Specifications of The Sari Shop (English) (Paperback)

Contributors
Authored By Rupa Bajwa
Book Details
Publisher Penguin
Imprint Penguin
Publication Year 2004 March
ISBN-13 9780143031581
ISBN-10 0143031589
Language English
Edition 01
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 256 Pages
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Book Reviews of The Sari Shop (English)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
Priya Seetharaman
23 Oct 2013
Left me wondering if there is more to life

The Sari Shop by Rupa Bajwa is a book about ordinary lives of ordinary people in Amritsar. Rupa weaves a story with a lot of description and emphasis on details, atleast initially. But as the story moves on it made me feel as though she was stereo-typing many of the characters. Why does the average lower class male Indian always have to drink and beat up his wife? Why do rich north Indian women have to always drop by sari shops and buy expensive sarees in a blink of their eyes? Why should rich Punjabi women not be bothered whether their bahus are educated but be more worried if they can... ()

The Sari Shop by Rupa Bajwa is a book about ordinary lives of ordinary people in Amritsar. Rupa weaves a story with a lot of description and emphasis on details, atleast initially. But as the story moves on it made me feel as though she was stereo-typing many of the characters. Why does the average lower class male Indian always have to drink and beat up his wife? Why do rich north Indian women have to always drop by sari shops and buy expensive sarees in a blink of their eyes? Why should rich Punjabi women not be bothered whether their bahus are educated but be more worried if they can...
The Sari Shop by Rupa Bajwa is a book about ordinary lives of ordinary people in Amritsar. Rupa weaves a story with a lot of description and emphasis on details, atleast initially. But as the story moves on it made me feel as though she was stereo-typing many of the characters. Why does the average lower class male Indian always have to drink and beat up his wife? Why do rich north Indian women have to always drop by sari shops and buy expensive sarees in a blink of their eyes? Why should rich Punjabi women not be bothered whether their bahus are educated but be more worried if they can run the household full of servants?

Are all Ramchands spineless - caring to do nothing about things that happen around them? Are all Mrs. Sachdevas more worried about name and fame rather than getting down to doing something about poor Kamla?

I am not sure what Rupa Bajwa intended to convey to her audience.

Left me feeling a little depressed and wondering if there is more to life.

2 of 2 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Susan Mathew
09 Jul 2012
first to review
The weft and weave of 'The Sari Shop'

Rupa Bajwa has woven an intricate tale of the protagonist Ramchand trying to lift himself from the dregs of his lonely existence, by engaging with the people he meets on a more real level.Unfortunately he finds the phrase "two sides of the coin" to be true to almost all situations in life, where hope and desperation co-exist.

Ramchand is 'everyman'-living in a small tenement in one of the bylanes of Amritsar. The contrasting strands of the life of the privileged and the plodding existence of the poor are like the weft and weave of the saris that are sold by Ramchand. Somehow t...
()

Rupa Bajwa has woven an intricate tale of the protagonist Ramchand trying to lift himself from the dregs of his lonely existence, by engaging with the people he meets on a more real level.Unfortunately he finds the phrase "two sides of the coin" to be true to almost all situations in life, where hope and desperation co-exist.

Ramchand is 'everyman'-living in a small tenement in one of the bylanes of Amritsar. The contrasting strands of the life of the privileged and the plodding existence of the poor are like the weft and weave of the saris that are sold by Ramchand. Somehow t...
Rupa Bajwa has woven an intricate tale of the protagonist Ramchand trying to lift himself from the dregs of his lonely existence, by engaging with the people he meets on a more real level.Unfortunately he finds the phrase "two sides of the coin" to be true to almost all situations in life, where hope and desperation co-exist.

Ramchand is 'everyman'-living in a small tenement in one of the bylanes of Amritsar. The contrasting strands of the life of the privileged and the plodding existence of the poor are like the weft and weave of the saris that are sold by Ramchand. Somehow threads interweave to create saris but a few crystals sewn in,or a shot of zari woven through can make a dramatic difference.It almost seems that Ramchand will lighten his dark lonely days with his efforts at self improvement.

Ramchand for all his feeling of being unschooled, has studied that special language that women speak when they shop and is good at his job at the Sevak Sari House.He is inspired to make a few changes to his dull existence after a glimpse into the life of the rich.But the consequences are quite the opposite!

Ms. Bajwa has a crafted an honest narrative of a town in modern India, replete with the heartbreak of humdrum existence.

2 of 4 users found this review helpful.
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    ISBN Number: 0143031589, 9780143031581, 978-0143031581

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