Atulya Mahajan had sent across this book to me more than 6 months back. There were a couple of times I began to read it but due to my busy schedules at work, I couldn’t move forward. But finally, the day came and the book was read and done with in the space of just a couple of hours.
“Amreekandesi: Masters of America” is Atulya Mahajan’s first ever novel. But he is surely not a novice on the literary scene. He has regaled millions in India and across the world through his satirical comments, jokes and blog posts on social media since quite a while. So when I got to know about his book, I was more than excited to get hold of it. Does it work? Let’s check it out.
The blurb goes like this:
Atulya Mahajan’s debut novel Amreekandesi: Masters Of America is a story of two Indian boys with the same dream of making a career in America. With a touch of satire, the story relates how these Indian students meet in the US while they are searching for their fabled American Dream. The protagonists of this novel are Akhil Arora and Jaspreet Singh, who are fated to become friends in this foreign land.
These two characters come from different states in India – one is from Delhi and the other is from Punjab. Akhil Arora is portrayed as a young engineer studying in Delhi craves freedom from his overbearing family and wants to prove to them that he is capable of managing his own life.
Jaspreet Singh comes from a small town in Punjab and calls himself Jassi. He wishes to live the American dream, akin to the movie American Pie. Jassi and Akhil meet in Florida and become roommates. While studying in the States, they take up jobs for survival. They become close friends and share their hopes and dreams with each other.
Both of them are on extreme opposites as far as their perspectives are concerned. Akhil, is an ardent patriot and he wishes to return to India after spending a few years abroad. On the other hand, Jassi does not want to carry on with his Indian identity as it makes him feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. So, he has a plan to look for an American girl and settle down in America. While Akhil falls in love with Nandita, a girl he met on the flight; Jassi’s dream of living an American life is shattered at every step.
In Amreekandesi: Masters Of America the author has included his witty insights and humorous anecdotes. While chronicling the classic experience of an immigrant, the author highlights the identity crises and survival in a foreign place. He highlights how people change when they live in a foreign land.