Author Vinati Sukhdev spoke to DesiMusings about her latest book ‘East or West’ that is all about bringing up an Indian children in abroad. Having written for the first time from the perspective of parenting, this is an NRI mother’s manual on how to bring up their desi children overseas.
Q.Congratulations ma’am! It’s an amazing book. Can you tell, in brief, what this book is all about?
I had shifted to a foreign land for 32 years and it surprised me – despite having about 30 million of NRIs across the world, nobody ever thought of writing on the subject, which is very close to an NRI’s heart, because when you are a minority in a country your tendency is to preserve your own way of life and to pass it on to your children. But, your children are subject to the pressure of school, pressure from their peer group. They often think what their parents are trying to teach is not true, and things like, ‘what is the use of learning Hindi?’ because it’s not a language they use in US. For me, the language is a huge link to the culture. For the children who don’t know they can’t enjoy kathak, they can’t enjoy rasleela, they can’t understand Gayatri mantra — they can’t relate to it.
Q. Nowadays authors prefer fiction, love stories over serious topics. Why did you choose parenting?
Q. What’s coming up next?
I don’t know what exactly I am going to write, but I am trying to write something at the moment. I’ll keep it up surprise but yes, it will be about NRIs.
Q. A message for the readers.
I am sure you all have NRI relatives and friends. I am sure they will enjoy reading this book. Please give it to them, gift it to them, and read it yourself because a lot of elite Indians are facing the same problem. The children go to fancy schools like Vasant Valley and all. They don’t speak Hindi, they don’t want to do anything Indian. So, it’s not just an NRI problem it’s a general problem. My share of the proceeds are going to Pratham NGO, so the more it sells, the better.