I am on the verge of finishing up a fascinating book named "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts. This is a book written by an Australian writer – for some various reasons he ends up in Jail in Australia, escapes from prison and on whim ends up in Bombay (I just can’t get used to calling it Mumbai yet) with a forged Newzealand passport. The book is about the fascinating life he ends up leading in Bombay as a drug pusher, black money vendor, life in the slums (escaping the immigration authorities since his visa expired) and his battles in Afghanistan. It is a very fascinating read indeed. It is 1000 pages thick, so it will take you a while to get through the tome, but it is worth the effort.
While in the process of finishing this book, I happened on a small book called "Inscrutable Americans" by Anurag Mathur. It was a quick read – like reading one of those James Hadley Chase novels. Under 200 pages, it is the usual spice about life in the US from the view point of a recent immigrant. Gopal is a student (with a chemical engineering degree) who lands at a school in Emersville (some where near NY) to get a 1 year diploma. The novel is about his travails getting used to life in the US of A. He has a typical American friend Randy for company & Randy helps him through the school year. It is a reasonably funny story with its own interesting twists and turns along the way. It takes a disappoinging turn at the very end with Gopal’s sexual escapade which was very much avoidable. Not bad for a ’91 novel which is slated to become a movie soon.