American Betiya: The Revolutionary Indian YA BookAmerican Betiya: The Revolutionary Indian YA Book
on Mar 24, 2021 Where do I even start with American Betiya? As a little kid, I always wanted to experience life in an American high-school, what with One Tree Hill and A Cinderella Story. While this desire sustained with To All The Boys and Never Have I Ever, the complications of ‘Culture Shock’ never occurred to me. The ideas of prom, unhindered PDA, having my lover over for dinner and full freedom to live my life used to smite me, leading me to take my culture for granted. Even though I’m still not very enthusiastic about some elements of my culture, I am learning to embrace it and no longer feel the need to run away from it or take on a fake identity.
What Is The Book American Betiya About?In her debut novel, Anuradha D. Rajurkar pits Rani (a girl from an immigrant, conservative Indian family) in a romantic relationship with Oliver (an emo-punk artist with family issues) who though charming at first, starts showing some serious racist red flags which inhabit him unconsciously. The author describes Oliver as Rani’s mother’s worst nightmare in the first line itself. But after the first five chapters, Oliver not only smites Rani but the readers as well. Even though their relationship moved way too fast for me to start shipping them, I found Oliver to be an acceptable boyfriend. I gave him a pass, though I saw the impending doom very well And then the red flags. What starts with the cute and cliched ‘Princess Jasmine’ nickname, transitions into something very, very horrendous in chapter thirty-one. I will never be able to get that scene out of my head. Not only was this scene a witty description of racist fetishes but also a mark of toxic relationships where people try to replace the absence of actual intimacy with sexual favours for short-term happiness. ‘This is something I can give him.’
Why Did I Find The Book Interesting?
- Advertisement -The fact that Oliver accepted Rani’s cultural background only so far as it heeded to his needs and wants, without actually comprehending their spiritual and sacred depth pressed my buttons and left my eyes wide and jaw dropped. I’ll have to give it to Anuradha’s fearless and witty writing here because this scene was a masterstroke. A bit traumatic and extreme yes, but it sort of made up for the slow-paced, honeymoon-phased first part of the book. Couple this with Oliver’s mural in chapter thirty-eight and bam! My heart really reached out to Rani. What I felt at that point cannot be put into words, because with these two scenes as the late climaxes of the book, it just hits you all at once like a revelation when you just want to look into the author’s eyes and shout, “OH MY GOD, I FREAKING GET YOU!”