East or West, India is the Best
Vinati Sukhdev
102
reviews
198
reads
1
recommendation

Sorry! This book is no longer available to read.

Selected for eBook publication by BGB

Synopsis

This is a book for Indian parents living outside India as well as their children who may or may not define themselves as Indian. It is about identity in a fast-changing world. Are we all global citizens? How alike are we? What makes us desis different from non-Indians? Will these differences narrow over time? It is about the Indian identity amongst people who do not live in India. It is, more specifically, about the role of parenting in shaping this identity. But most of all it is about accepting that we live in a fast-changing world and that we have to adapt.

I am not Benjamin Spock. Nor Penelope Leach. I am just an Indian parent – one of many living outside India. Latest estimates of the Indian diaspora put the number at 25 million. So what makes me, merely one of 25 million desis living abroad, superior or more qualified to dish out any advice? Surely each one of these NRIs have their own, equally legitimate, ways of looking at the world and defining their space within it. And I welcome debate, even criticism. In other words, the views expressed in this book are mine and mine alone – they are shaped by my own circumstances and I share them as I would a joke or an anecdote (to be empathised with or laughed at) rather than as advice.

In this self-deprecating book I have examined my own parenting style and whether all immigrant groups had the same goals and methods of achieving them. Was the Chinese Tiger mother different from the Bengal tigress? Were “Indian” children lliving in the US subject to a different set of pressures from Indian children in the UK or Dubai or Singapore?

These and other issues are explored in the following pages. What makes my book different is that it is unapologetically Indian – by and for Indians. It does not purport to be the only way to bring up children abroad. But it was my way. And having produced two children who most people describe as “well brought up”, it is one possible way. That’s all.

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Reviews by the community

Sumita Chatterjee

And such talents of writing. Hats Off for that. It is one of those books which will not just keep you reading it for its plot but also for the way everything is well put

May 18 '16
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May 16 '16
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harish prasad

Very Happy that I am the 100th reviewer. I will surely buy one copy for my kids :)

Jan 12 '16
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Geetha Krishnan

Though I am a parent, this book failed to hold my interest

Dec 25 '15
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nisha sinha

This one is quite absorbing!

Oct 29 '15
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Oct 23 '15
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asha krishna

The first three chapters are engrossing and I am curious to learn what else is the author going to touch upon in the subsequent chapters.
I can very much relate to this book since I am based in the UK and have two kids of my own. With its eye catching cover and a great title, I can see it being gifted to NRI parents!! :)

Anyways, I have a few suggestions to offer. There are some proofing errors. Secondly, it is not clear that the author is talking about Pavan who is her husband. Although the novelty of the subject wears off after a couple of pages, the amusing anecdotes and the superb writing style keeps the interest piqued.

I loved what I read and would love to read more! Thank you for the opportunity to peek into an interesting manuscript.
It was a delightful experience!

Sep 19 '15
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resham

The manuscript is very captivating and wants to make you read more. It is an interesting topic.

Aug 01 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you Resham! Glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully it will be out by the end of the year.

Aug 01 '15
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Jul 31 '15
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Sonu wig

Amazing read! It's very apt not only for the elite nri but also for people living in big cities in India...a true insight and thoroughly enjoyable!!

Jul 16 '15
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Rishi Chandrfa

Wonderful read and kept my interest throughout. As part of the Indian diaspora community (never realised it was up to 25 million), so much rings true and brings a smile to one's face when you realise it applies to oneself. However I do think it is changing rapidly with the globalisation through popular media / social networking sites. Whether you are in LA or Mumbai, it feels like there is a homogenisation of culture in the younger generation. Hence I believe this book would be a great read for any parent, not just NRIs or Indians. I do look forward to reading the rest and thoroughly enjoyed the sample 3 chapters.

Jun 23 '15
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Ashima

The book resonated with me and was extremely thought provoking! Looking forward to reading the rest of it!!

Jun 19 '15
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leela

Given the increasing amount of Global Desis, this book adds value and gives a fresh perspective to evolving challenges of globalisation, integration and culture. As a third- culture kid, a huge part of my ability to be mobile and seek opportunities beyond my country of origin is credited to the foresight of my mother. This book is spot on for so many parents and to-be parents who are living away from their motherland and adds just the right amount of Indian spice and Drama.

Jun 17 '15
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Vaibhav Kaul

Insightful, thought-provoking, and thoroughly enjoyable!

Jun 09 '15
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priyanka vermani

I felt as if I have traveled so much in this book as the experiences are covered from across continents. Extremely interesting read and definitely informative based on personal experiences and observations. Having spent a few years in London, I was able to relate to the author's stance on so many issues. The writing style is simple and crisp. Though I felt the chapters were a bit long (the first one in particular). Parents have a lot to learn from this book. We need to be open in our parenting approach no matter where we stay. As Kahlil Gibran puts it beautifully "Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you." I

Jun 02 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Well said! I am glad you enjoyed the book. I think it is authentic because I have lived it!

Jun 03 '15
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maithili kumar agarwal

One of the most refreshing writing styles that I have come across in a long time! As someone who has lived away from India close to a decade, I can identify with Vinati's message. I cant wait for the formal book launch!

May 20 '15
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Rashmi Guha

So looking forward to reading more of your funny and insightful exploration of parenting third culture kids.

May 10 '15
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aditi

That the author is very passionate about the subject comes through very strongly. The chapters are well written - part factual and part anecdotal and make a good point - that It is up to us parents to foster a love for India in our third culture kids. Clearly, the author has been able to do so successfully and is generous about sharing her learnings. A good book for NRI parents of young children.

Apr 21 '15
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Shanta Acharya

Hi Vinati - just read your book - like your style and enjoyed reading it. Good luck with your writing and publishing. Shanta

Apr 16 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your kind words Shanta. Glad you enjoyed it.

Apr 16 '15
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Apr 12 '15
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Ashish Saxena

I think this is a book for a much broader audience than just paranoid NRI parents. There is a bit for everyone including singletons like me for whom it is at once a heart warming take of a family, a peek into the "future" and a reminder to scratch the surface of my "Indian" identity. I really enjoyed reading the 3 chapters and look forward to more. The anecdotal free flowing writing style and a personal touch makes for absorbing reading with none of the heaviness of a how to parent guide.. One may or may not agree with all the points Vinati is making but at no point one loses interest in how things play out in her "modern family". I hope this book is published. Well done and all the best to Vinati.

Apr 05 '15
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Vishal Grover

By labelling this as merely a book about Indian parents, Vinati is selling herself short. The book is in equal parts about immigrant experience, the tug of war that is the mother-father relationship, the search for an identity and most importantly about the universal imperative to preserve that very identity. If this short extract is anything to go by, it would be an immensely engaging book. It would be lovely if this book is published for a wide audience to read and enjoy.

Mar 30 '15
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Mar 28 '15
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Surendra Mohanty

Enjoyed reading the first three chapters. The writing is simple, crisp and flows very well. Flawless in grammar and sentence structure. Substantiated with examples and experiences. It is not preachy, but the author leaves it to the reader, what style of parenting they want to adopt. She is neither critical about about Indian nor western parenting styles, but certainly she is pro Indian culture, which is the purpose of the book. I am happy to find that Indian parents remain Indian parents even after living for long in the West.

Mar 26 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your kind words Surendra. Once an Indian, always an Indian! Is desh ki mitti mein kuch hai - as they say in our films :)

Mar 26 '15
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Suniti wali

Interesting to read how Vinati has brought up her children .. With the perfect balance of Eastern and western cultures!! Great education for all youngsters in similar situations!

Mar 22 '15
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Alison

Thought provoking and very eloquently written. The dilemmas are universal ones and will resonate with non Indian readers as well as NRIs but as with so much in life, flavours and experiences are enriched by the exotic in this book. The universal dilemma is how to be different and belong at the same time.

Mar 22 '15
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Ashima Sukhdev

Full disclosure - I'm the author's daughter. When our mum told us she was going to be writing a book on being and Indian mother, I was intrigued. How much could I learn from this book that I hadn't already in my childhood? As I was reading the first few chapters (and having had a preview into the next few!), I laughed and exclaimed and wanted to pick up the phone and discuss! This is exactly what I think this book is going to do; bring humour and incredible insights into the ongoing (sometimes controversial) discourse on mothering. As someone who will most likely be bringing up my own children outside India, I'm excited to hear more!

Mar 21 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

I am so glad you have been part of this amazing journey Ashima - love you!

Mar 26 '15
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Sudhansu M Nayak

Hi Vinati,
The way you have changed the pace-sometimes slow, sometimes quick and back to the point while still holding the point deceptively with the word play, makes me feel a bit jealous. I must read more of your writing to learn that aspect of writing. :-) Echo your views and the myriad points of experience. Please write more. All the best.

Warm regards
Sudhansu

Mar 19 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your kind words. I have been a professional writer all my working life and that help! First as a journalist and then as a copywriter with advertising agencies.

Mar 19 '15
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Joseph Mariathasan

A witty and charming description of what many South Asians abroad must experience. As someone whose parents were Sri Lankan Tamils who spoke English at home, there are many commonalities with Vinati's experience and issues. But what is even more fascinating for me are the ways that Vinati and Pavan have tried to inculcate their heritage to their children. I fear that, like myself, once you lose the language of your forefathers, it becomes a battle to retain the culture.

Mar 17 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for sharing your experience Joseph. I have a whole chapter written on keeping up the language and I agree it is very difficult!

Mar 17 '15
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Christine Menager

It has been a very pleasurable reading!

Mar 15 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks for your feedback Christine. I am glad you enjoyed it.

Mar 17 '15
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Mar 14 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for this rating Priyanka. I can only assume you enjoyed what you read and have shared these experiences as a parent.

Mar 17 '15
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Mar 07 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you Kanika for reading and rating my book.

Mar 17 '15
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Suman

Thoroughly enjoyed reading! Being an NRI Mom myself can relate to most issues being explored. Look forward to reading the rest of this most enjoyable book!!

Mar 03 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for reading the book and empathising with my experience.

Mar 17 '15
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Gayathri Manikandan

I had no expectations when I started reading this book. Rather I had reservations against this book, that its going to be another cliched one - funny, self-mocking and aiming to be a best-seller. The Title and Cover confirmed my assumptions. But I was very surprised. I wouldn't say its an eye-opener but it would certainly make you mull over your parenting style, if you are a NRI particularly.
The Author pleased me right at the preface - no empty promises or hype. But she is only being humble, the content is more than mere 'joke or an anecdote'. The first two chapters are pretty good. I liked the way that she started chapter 1 with a piece of writing by her daughter(which is very neat and to the point). Exactly when I was thinking Dance & music classes and Diwali parties aren't going to be enough to give an Indian identity, am getting the answers(or atleast a part of it) on Chapter 2. Chapter 3 was good too but wasn't leading anywhere. Ofcourse, the Author might have intended to just present facts still I felt little stranded after reading that chapter.

Feb 28 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your feedback Gayathri. And so happy you empathised with my feelings.

Mar 17 '15
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Suman Chhabria Addepalli

Very nice book, as a parent, even though I am not an NRI, there were a lot of takeaways for me. :) I do feel that -to borrow the author's words, the book could be structured well, edited and made into bite-sized proportions. But it is really a promising book!! Time well spent.

Feb 26 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you Suman - really appreciate your taking the time and so glad it was well spent!

Mar 17 '15
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Aditi

Enjoyed reading the first three chapters- would love to read the rest of the book! Very relevant for people like us who are just starting this journey.

Feb 26 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Wish you all the best Aditi - I am sure you will do a great job!

Mar 17 '15
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Feb 25 '15
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Feb 25 '15
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Reinier Zeldenrust

As a westerner, this book gave me feelings of intrigue and mild offense ;). I recommend this book as an eye-opening insight into Indian parenting culture. If you can stomach a few punches to your own culture, this book will give you some new wisdoms, peppered with interesting anecdotes and funny moments.

Feb 24 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your candour and honesty. I did not mean to offend westerners but often we think of things from our own point of view which in this case is the Indian point of view. And like all ancient civilisations we feel we are superior:) the Greeks, the Chinese, they all sugger from this. So we Indians are not the only ones. I am glad you enjoyed it though.

Feb 24 '15
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Sarita Chand

This is an important book for all of us who are part of the 26million strong Indian diaspora in various parts of the world. It addresses vexing issues of Mother Country versus Adopted Country in an easy to read, non-judgemental and affectionate manner. The examples discussed are familiar to all of us who have striven to preserve, in our children, their basic 'Indian identity' whatever each of us may interpret that to be. In the end the best we can hope to achieve is to inculcate in their minds a pride in their Indian heritage within the complex cultural environment in which they have to live. Well done, Vinati, to have put these important issues in writing and to have given us readers an insight into your world!

Feb 24 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your kind words Sarita. So happy and encouraged that you empathised with it!

Feb 24 '15
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Meghana Joshi

This one struck one chord after another. I did spend my early independent adult life abroad and though far from being in the mood to become a parent of an ABCD myself, closely observed Indian parents and kids. Nearly all the examples cited by the author reminded me of people I've come across in real life!! From the Indian parents stuck in a time warp of the India they left behind, to the "more American than the Americans" type and everything in between. Baby aisles overflowing with merchandise (and the price tags) at the supermarkets freaked me out. I've been confided in by individuals from both the first and second generations. So this book had me nodding in agreement at nearly every page. I narrowly missed (escaped?!) being a first-generation parent abroad, but I admire and commend the author on her grit, candor and willingness to turn the spotlight so firmly on our magnificent, much-misunderstood, but dearly beloved country of origin. I'm in line to buy this book, BGB, please publish it and soon!

Feb 24 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. The conversations in the book are meant to lead to a conversation on this subject and stir up people to actively do something about it so people like you can bring up well balanced global India children abroad :)

Feb 24 '15
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Apurv Nagpal

Its a fun read, and having lived abroad for a few years, can relate to it easily.
I hate people telling me what to do / not to do - and the fact that the author here communicates primarily via her own experiences rather than a list of Do's / Donts, makes it very enjoyable

Feb 23 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your feedback Apurv - I wish more men/dads read this! I have NRI mums saying the book is true to their experience. Very few men!

Mar 17 '15
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Feb 18 '15
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Deepak Kaul

This book is fab. I hope you are proposing to share royalties with your daughters!

Mar 19 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for this rating Deepak.

Mar 17 '15
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Vijay S

Written with a flair and an acuity, Vinati has a felicity with words

Feb 16 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your kind words Vijay. I try!

Mar 17 '15
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Niyati Shinde

This is such a fun book! Gonna make my parents read it as well!!! ;-) :-P

Feb 16 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Hey Niyati - thanks for the rave review. Hope your parents enjoy it as well. Please tell them to give me feedback - this is not my book, it is all our lives and experiences put together by me.

Mar 17 '15
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Feb 15 '15
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Anjali Asnanee

This is both an interesting and fun read. With all the distractions in life it is hard to do much other than work and keep up with a few friends and of course family. So to write an amazingly fun read is brilliant.

Feb 14 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your kind words Anjali. It was great fun writing it as well!

Mar 17 '15
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Lena Padukone

An introspective, humorous and perceptive glimpse into an NRI mum's parenting predicament .....wanting to raise her kids with a western mind but an Indian heart ! Completely in sync with you Vinati .... Eagerly waiting for the rest of your book !

Feb 13 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

I love the way you have put it - western mind and Indian heart! Thanks for reviewing my book.

Feb 18 '15
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kavita budhraja

Easy to relate to - specially because I share the same background. It's one of those easy-going books you can take along on a holiday and chuckle at references and episodes you have been part of too. A lot of what Vinati says is not new and has been discussed in many living rooms of NRIs all over the world, but nevertheless it's fun to revisit. Simple writing and a fun read. Flip side - reads like a journal and chapters are too long. Do you really have to stick with that title though...? Much luck.

Feb 12 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks for the endorsement Kavita. Some other people have commented on the chapters as well. Will look into them. As for the title - it is very tongue in cheek!

Feb 18 '15
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Ranjana Sood

Written with great sensitivity & humour on subjects which mothers grapple with on a regular basis. Even though i live in India having a child who has lived & studied overseas the issues remain relevant even in the indian context. Cant wait to read the rest.

Feb 11 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks for the review. You make a very valid point about the impact of westernisation in India.,

Feb 18 '15
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Vishal

Congratulations mami. Looking forward to the book launch in Singapore. Can relate to so many of the dilemmas and choices you refer to that we make now with Aarav.

Feb 11 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks for the review Vishal. As parents we all do our best. I only wish I had read a book like this when I was younger and realised I am not alone!

Feb 18 '15
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Anupama

A riveting read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first few chapters and look forward to reading more!
As a second generation Indian born in the UK I could identify some of the emotions and turmoil my parents went through (or must have) bringing up their three children.
My sister and I often find ourselves having similar conversations of how we should bring up our children (the third generation) and while there is no right or wrong answer it is interesting to hear the author’s viewpoint and experience.
Just a minor suggestion the book focuses on a particular class of NRIs; those who, if living in India, would use English as their first language. This, I feel, should be made explicit.

Feb 10 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for sharing your personal experience Anupama. I agree that the kind of people I write about would use English as their first language even in India but that does not make us less Indian or more Indian, just a different kind of Indian!

Feb 10 '15
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Vijay Ganju

The book addresses the bi-modal, bi-cultural worlds that Indians living outside India and hyphenated Indian have to straddle, both by themselves as well as in the context of their family structures and expectations. In a larger sense, the book confronts the problem of cultural identity in an increasingly globalized world. For anyone interested in these issues, this book is a provocative must read!

Feb 09 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your comments. You have brought up a very important point.. For families living outside India, it is the Indian family structure and expectations that have to be managed as well as all the identity issues!

Feb 10 '15
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Anandita

As a GCD (Global Confused Desi) and new mother to a baby who will inevitably turn into a BBCD, I found myself agreeing with each and every sentiment! A brilliant read and I cannot wait to buy the fully published book. Also, Mahima and Ashima clearly take their amazing writing skills from their extremely brilliant mum - I expect books or collection of short stories out of them soon.!

Feb 09 '15
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Rajen Padukone

A really interesting subject that you can easily relate to. The chapters are insightful and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading them and will forward to reading the rest.

Feb 09 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks. Am glad you enjoyed reading it. Mums have loved it - but the male perspective has to be considered too!

Feb 10 '15
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Anna Davis

This is a fascinating, well-written book, that resonates with my own experiences as an NRI mum. I hope East or West will be published.

Feb 09 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks for your kind words Anna. So happy it resonated with you!

Feb 10 '15
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Sheetal

Enjoyed reading the first 3 chapters and related completely to it. Looking forward to reading more

Feb 09 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

I am so happy you enjoyed it. I had a feeling when I was writing it, that I cannot be the only one facing these problems. This has now been confirmed in the nicest way possible!

Feb 10 '15
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Shaila Mallik

Interesting and written in a lovely chatty style, Vinati Sukhdev's narrative is one that many NRI parents will identify with easily. It is an oft-discussed topic and of course has several points of view. While the book gives ideas and advice that are from a single perspective, the author has explained up front in the preface that this is certainly not THE way to bring up children, just one. Her anecdotes make it a fun read, and give the necessary touches of humor. I am looking forward to reading what she has to say about other aspects of raising children overseas.

Feb 08 '15
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Nimita

Such a sensitive and relatable account of the beautiful nuances and subtleties of life, family, identity matters. Wonderful combination of light heart humor and powerful advice! Can't wait to read more aunty, really well done!

Feb 08 '15
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Rachna

Fantastic topic v well written!I can relate to it and would love to read more.

Feb 06 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Glad you enjoyed it Rachna - it is a topic close to NRI mothers' hearts!

Feb 06 '15
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Tanya Braun

Incredibly interesting, wonderfully written and absolutely absorbing. Having known very little about the 'Desi' culture prior to the last few months, this has been an extremely enjoyable insight! I laughed out loud at parts of this open and honest novel. Somehow light-hearted but completely serious at the same time, it definitely deserves to be published so we can all enjoy to learn more - I hope read the entire volume very soon.

Feb 04 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your interest in desi culture Tanya and I am so glad it entertained you!

Feb 04 '15
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shivani kak

Interesting read and well written

Feb 04 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your encouraging words. Glad you enjoyed it!

Feb 10 '15
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Sheila Surya

Ha! I thought another book by an Indian, who just can't look beyond the mantra that has been drilled into us - India is the best. But my friend recommended that I read the 3 chapters that has been put up. Frankly speaking, I wanted to put it down while reading the 1st chapter, but wanted to keep up my promise. Then the style of writing & the debates within kept me interested. Don't agree with some of the views of Vinati, but I am intrigued to read where she takes us with this debate. This is a constant battle in our minds on what is the best way of making sure that our kids growing up outside of India love India? My question is why? We are the ones lost in 'transit' & not our kids. All the very best, Vinati, on getting the book published & seeing the colourful copy on the book stands in all the airports as well.

Feb 04 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Glad you kept reading Sheila! I have many more interesting chapters written on academics, jobs, shaadi etc.

Feb 06 '15
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pandustar

I don't know why I clicked on the 'Read book' option -maybe it was the really colorful and nicely done cover?
But whatever the reason the story is very well written. Reading the Preface I yawned. But after reading the very first chapter itself I would try and take that yawn back. The stories are really well written and reality based.
The one drawback I had was that the length of the chapters is too long, maybe you could have chapter breakers?
All the best.

Feb 04 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your insightful yet encouraging remarks - will definitely look into the preface and the length of chapters.

Feb 10 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks for your comments!

Feb 04 '15
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Saroj Tikku

I am Vinati's mother. I came to know of her facility in writing at the age of five, when she wrote a small poem of 8 lines, on Lal Bahadur Shastri and the poem was published n the school magazine.

As we have never lived abroad for any length of time, Vinati was brought up in New Delhi, India with Indian traditions, values and beliefs with modernity which comes through education. She felt comfortable in both eastern and western cultures and social milieus and always felt that the children should be given a mix of values, so that they remain grounded and grow up believing in themselves or in their own identity. This book is on account of her sensitive observations, which has helped her to see both the positive and negative sides of culture/ways of life. It is an easy, racy read with humourous anecdotes and wittty interpretations so typical of her writing. To me it seemed as if she was writing a long letter (like she used to when away from home)
I may perhaps be biased, but the book undoubtedly has a very different way of looking at "parenting", particularly for those living abroad and may not have given much 'thought' to the subject so far.

Very well done! she be publishe

Feb 03 '15
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Saroj Tikku

Thank you so much mama! To be appreciated by one's parents is the most special feeling in the world. You gave me the values I am trying to pass on to my children!

Feb 03 '15
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Nandita

Well written and thought provoking. Vinati's anecdotal style is refreshing and she highlights many issues debated endlessly by Indian parents bringing up 'Third Culture children'. I look forward to reading more...

Feb 03 '15
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Bhaskar Rao

Very interesting and thought-provoking. A topic that is discussed often by my wife and me.
While we do want our kids to be good global citizens, what are the core Indian (Asian?) values we would like them to live with? We think respect for elders and the joy of extended family.
The author has alluded to this in Chapter 2, and I look forward to reading the rest of the book.
Good Luck!

Feb 03 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your good wishes. We NRIs have often discussed these issues and it is time to take this debate to the next level!

Feb 03 '15
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Dinesh Verma

Really enjoyed reading the three chapters, having been an NRI parent myself and going through very similar emotions & turmoils while bringing up a son. Vinati has captured the essence of the "NRI parent" psyche and has provided a beautiful narrative of the experience. Many of my NRI friends (specially those who have daughters) have long asked for such a book that gives some sort of "guidance" to them of bringing up the girls in the West without getting them "immersed" into the culture, or rather "drowned" never coming out to "breathe" real Indian culture. I could feel that Vinati views Indian culture with rose tinted glasses, which was the case for me as well, until I actually came back & started living in Delhi again - all the "mushy fuzzy" feelings for close family members gradually evaporated, since they were not receiving the expensive foreign gifts anymore!! I am looking forward to reading the whole book to find out if she has also tackled the problems of "returning" NRI parents - an increasing number with India's economy improving!

Feb 03 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your perceptive comments. Returning NRIs deserve a whole book!

Feb 03 '15
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Maya Kak

Questions raised with sense plus sincerity and answered with conviction and humour. Can't wait to read the entire book!

Feb 02 '15
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Khushal Chand Thakur

I enjoyed reading the 3 chapters that have been put up, and would be interested in reading more.

The manuscript captures well the problems of the post-Liberalization (i.e. after 1991) immigration experience of a certain type of Indian. Setting aside the references to the "frozen in time" East African Gujaratis, Indians growing up in culturally isolated spots like the American mid-West, and the NRI experience in non-English speaking countries, the book is essentially about the NRI experience of people of the class of Indians who would speak English as a first language in India. With that as a filter, I believe the book can be refined, the existing script tightened up, and the future content made more focussed.

I believe this - English as a first language in India - is an important fault-line. It is a subtle, but uncomplicated, dividing line in Indian Society that neatly captures the metro/non-metro, old-money/arriviste, and social class aspects. Taken abroad, where all the India baggage like class, background, etc are leveled, it manifests itself in subtle differences of what it means to be Indian.

Just a few words on the topic of Indianness, the immigration experience, etc from me....

I have lived abroad for 7 years. I have observed a lot of the anecdotes mentioned in the book myself and my conclusion is , being Indian, or the feeling of Indianness is a state of mind. The concept of Indianness can't be equated to just feeling pride at a World Cup win, bursting crackers at Diwali, or tiger-parenting. It is more subtle and deeper than that. I feel it is about being wholly accepting India, warts and all; about having an instinctive contextual understanding of how and why things in India are what they are or work the way they do; and perhaps most importantly, at some level, about the feeling of being accepted in India.

Feb 02 '15
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Karishma Khullar

This was an incredibly enjoyable and engaging read! I can't wait for the rest of the book!

Feb 02 '15
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Aditya Jayanthi

Great read so far, with an interesting perspective. Would love to read more!

Feb 02 '15
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Meera Kaul

Perfect balance of samosas and scones! And so true.

Feb 01 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Meera - that is such a pithy and creative way to put it!

Feb 02 '15
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Nalini Kak

Extremely well written...! Look forward to the rest of it.

Feb 01 '15
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Samita Agarwal

I read the first three chapters of the book. Very well written and very honest. I can actually relate to a few anecdotes and have had similar experiences when my daughters were in their teenage years. I think this book will provide guidance to immigrant parents . I look forward to reading the book when it has been published.

Feb 01 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks Samita. Good to know that other mothers empathise with me. It is always a struggle to keep India alive and relevant in the home when one lives overseas but it is so worth it! I have written chapters on career choices, academics and shaadi as well but could only post 3 chapters initially.

Feb 02 '15
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Dhruv Khullar

Wow! What a thoughtful and engaging work. Very well written and hits on so many important points that I'm sure will resonate with so many people. Cannot wait to read more!

Jan 31 '15
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Ritu

Thoroughly enjoyed the first three chapters, really interesting and relevant to the Indian community outside India. This book will be a great resource for many parents and children.
The author has done a great job , her writing style is natural , honest and humorous which makes reading it effortless and great fun. I would love to see this work published and to read the rest of the book.

Jan 31 '15
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Kiran Khullar

Loved reading the first three chapters of the book. Wonderfully written...I can relate to so many things she writes about. Can"t wait to read the rest.

Jan 31 '15
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Apu Patwardhan

A wonderful debut..easy,engrossing and thought provoking. It vividly captures the essence of the varied sets of pressures encountered by NRIs bringing up their children abroad. Looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

Jan 31 '15
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Shailja

A very close to home analysis and insight . It mirrors my journey and struggle to impart 'Indianess' and pride to my children . A story shared by so many of us living in different continents but held by a strong thread of 'Being Indian' yet 'Foreign' .

Jan 31 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks for your input Shailja - we must have a catch up on this subject over a coffee. Want to find out about the school you mentioned too.

Feb 02 '15
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revathisanthanam81@gmail.com

Touches upon issues that have caused concern for parents raising their children in USA or UK. But with a rapidly changing India, we do have to question are holding on to outdated images? What is more important is imparting basic values and raising a good person.

Jan 31 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

I agree with you Revathi that basic values are important and there is no substitute for those - what I am trying to do is delineate cultural aspects of being Indian and helping children grow up with a balanced view of India. I am against both extremes - clinging to an outmoded view of India and bringing up children in a very conservative fashion or sliding to the other extreme and denying your ethnic heritage and becoming western in every respect. It is all about balance.

Feb 02 '15
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Arati Kaul

Enjoyable, racy read! Recognised and identified with so many situations, thoughts, dilemmas that were expressed!

Jan 30 '15
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Shoto Banerji

While being insightful, I think the most appealing factor for me was the fact that it hit a chord. As I know it will will the rest of us Vinati has spoken about. An Indian mother bringing up her children outside India, I have grappled with the same issues and tried to resolve them along the way. The last star has been held in reserve and will be awarded when I read the book, as I am sure it will fulfill all expectations!

Jan 30 '15
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zarine

A welcome exploration of topics discussed among my NRI friends throughout our child-rearing years. Looking forward to reading more.

Jan 30 '15
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priya tikku

The author is very knowledgeable and got it right. Thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to read more.

Jan 30 '15
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Racy and perceptive, the book delivers deep messages with a light touch. All of us who have lived abroad and brought up children will relate to it instantly

Jan 29 '15
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Maya Parmar

Very insightful and smooth read! Looking forward to the rest.

Jan 29 '15
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sreerupa

I read the 3 chapters on display. It is written in good flowing English with some usage of Indian words that a non-Indian might not be familiar with. Others might agree that it adds to the ambience. The author has raised issues of identity and differences between NRI (expatriate Indians)and Indians in India. To my mind, her examples, written with humor, understanding gives an impression that there is really something that we can call Indian. But, is there such an animal? Growing up in Bengal, from a certain type of family, I grew up with Indian classical music, both Eastern and Western, Rabindrasangeet, and also Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and a lot of rock. Bollywood was considered low class and derided. This is not the same as someone growing up in suburban Bombay in the 70s. Today, Bollywood dominates Indian copycat culture and media. Bad English in the English visual media goes by the name 'Indian English'. Today, I am happy to go to music concerts with the music that I grew up with, in North America, as 'people like us'(PLUS) have grown rarer in India. But, I liked the author's description of growing up in pre liberalization India under leftist/soviet intellectual influence. And, yes, many in the Indian diaspora are 'frozen in the India they had left'. These are the people who set up Indian ghettos wherever they go and generally are closed minded about Indian culture. Their children grow up with Bollywood and Amar Chitra katha. But, there is also a whole group of people with Indian roots, who are comfortable being 'global nomads'- living in multiple places, with children educated in different countries and moving between multiple homes. Yes one has Indian roots, but one moves on and their identity evolves. The more one lives in different cultures, one imbibes the good and questionable traits of those. But, it is difficult for someone who has not been a global nomad to understand one. Ultimately, a parent can only pass on 'values' within a cosmopolitan context and children become their own teachers. Forcing traditions can become counterproductive. Like touching feet was for me. I liked the author's description of parenting styles, the time to let go, being a helicopter mom and the cultural differences between East and West when bringing up children. The book takes a close look at the subtleties of identity and cultural nuances and it is very easy to identify oneself if one has grown up in India. A good and interesting read. Recommended.

Jan 29 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thank you for your detailed reaction to the book Sreerupa. I like your point about certain NRIs being frozen in time. Nicely put! I am not advocating blind emulation of an Indian culture that is constantly evolving. My quarrel is equally with people who go to the other extreme and shut India out from their children's lives completely. Their children grow up with a warped view of India and yet ethnically they are Indian and look Indian so that creates a kind of dissonance. I wanted my children to feel proud of their Indian enthnicity and I think I have succeeded - sort of!

Feb 02 '15
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Zahra

An interesting perspective mixed with witty humor - can't wait to read the entire book!

Jan 29 '15
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Jan 29 '15
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Navpreet Mann

Look forward to reading the whole book when it is published. Awesome read - want more!

Jan 29 '15
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Ranjita Kulkarni

Loved the first 3 chapters of the book, Being a TCK (third culture kid) myself, and bringing up my kids in a semi TCK environment, brought back so many memories and provoked a mulling of the past. I do hope this book gets published.

Jan 28 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks for reading and reviewing the book. As a third culture kid yourself, it probably resonated with you as both child and parent.

Feb 10 '15
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Jan 28 '15
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prerna

Can't wait to read more! Loved the small observations you've made. No doubt the Mastercard commercial wouldn't have been made anywhere else!

Jan 28 '15
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Abha

Felt like you were talking about the many things I think of daily as Raghav and Yamini's mummy:) thank you Minnie aunty. Abha

Jan 28 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Thanks for your enthusiasm and support - makes me feel my struggle was not alone and misplaced!

Feb 02 '15
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mriduparmar@gmail.com

Wonderfully written!Mirrors many lives and reflects many Indian parents' tryst with parenting a global/NRI child!Can't wait to read the rest.

Jan 27 '15
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Anjana

I like "unapologetic!" I think the author has been honest to her beliefs and speaks from real experience having lived as an immigrant in different countries. This is a story that will ring true to all first generational migrant populations, except the references are Indian. It is well written, depth shielded by humor and I recommend this to all.

Jan 27 '15
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Mahima

Full disclosure: I am the author's daughter! But I just read my mum's first 3 chapters and I can't wait to read the rest. She has always been a refreshingly witty writer, and this is some of her best work yet: insightful and thought-provoking while still being light, airy and deliciously fun.

Jan 27 '15
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Vinati Sukhdev

Always special to be praised by one's own family! Have you noticed - there are lots of mothers out there just like me?

Feb 02 '15
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Jan 27 '15
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Jan 27 '15
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Naina Knoess

Loved reading the short excerpt - Hungry for more...
Gives a very interesting glimpse into the many layers of Indian lives within India & abroad. Oh how well I can relate to the things she writes about!!

Jan 26 '15
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Anna kortekaas

Great advice to help raise indian children in foreign countries. The author clearly has a sense of pride to be Indian. Well written and interesting ideas. I would love to read more and share it with my Indian friends.

Jan 25 '15
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About the author

Vinati Sukhdev Follow

Started as a journalist, meandered into copywriting, foreign lands and strange territory: which included marriage and children. Believed all along that I could be the ultimate marketing person and sell India to my children!