So first of all, do not get alarmed by the title and it might be a bit misleading. I even had a few people looking at me with concern when I told them what I was reading. I would not whip it out and start reading it in a public place or even in front of my parents but hey that is the beauty of reading an e-copy. No one knows whatever you are reading. Unless you announce it all over the internet or your blog like I do. So here it goes: how Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows turned out to be?
Meet Nikki a law school dropout who has finally gotten out of her over bearing immigrant mother’s house trying to make her try at being independent. She tries to distance herself from her Sikh community that is too traditional and sexist for her liking. Impetuously she signs up to teach Creative English course for the widows of her Punjabi community to earn some quick bucks.
A gross miscommunication leads to her teaching basic English to the lonely widows and most of them turn out to be illiterates. During the classes Nikki realizes these women are much more interested in oral story telling especially erotic ones. While the traditional Sikh community considers these as scandalous acts especially for widows to be involved in, the women with Nikki’s help continue their lessons. They try and keep it a secret from the ‘Brotherhood’ a self appointed moral police who take it upon themselves to protect the virtue of the woman in their clan.
There is another much more interesting sub plot involving another younger woman who had ‘committed suicide’ after disagreeing with her husband’s way of living and was generally ‘too modern’. Did the Brotherhood have a hand in her death? Does Nikki’s attempt to bring in empowerment to these widows through erotica meet with the same hatred? You will have to read the Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows on your own to find the answers.
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows is by far one of the most ‘un-put-down-able’ book I read so far this year. I read through it fast and still couldn’t get to the last page quick enough. I needed to know the answers right then and there. But sensibility prevailed and I didn’t peek into the last page to find the answers. The writing was crisp and fast paced. Yes there are some ‘erotic stories in them but they are written tastefully (is that correct word here?) and not cringe worthy at all. But if you do not wish to read them, you can skip them and it will not hinder the flow of the novel at all.
It has been a while since I loved the side characters and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows has a bunch of well written and quirky characters. While I didn’t like Nikki’s holier-than-thou attitude, I was able to relate to her at some point (or did I?) coming from a desi background and all. She reminded of the small sexist things that we do because our tradition demands it and how hapless women who can’t and won’t fight against them are. Also I was reminded me of the BBC’s sitcom ‘Citizen Khan’ and I am definitely gonna watch them again in a bit.
If you are looking for something light and funny, or something that might make think about thoughtful or erotic, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows will fit your bill either way. It is funny. It is fast paced. It talks about woman empowerment. It has it all. Read it already, I say.
Do you like books that might hit a little close to your home? What was the most unputdownable book you read this year? Let me know. We should dish!