Allwin K Joy -Diasporic Consciousness in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Sister of My Heart

Agnihotri, Neeraj. “Diasporic Consciousness in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Sister of My Heart.” Galaxy: International Multidisciplinary Research Journal 3.1 (2014): 01-06. Web. 23 June 2016.

In the article, Agnihotri primarily focuses on the sense of unbelonging, the members of Indian diaspora feel both in the host country and their homeland. The main argument the author makes in the article is that whatever be the cause of immigration, for a diasporic community, displacement, rootlessness, and marginalisation are part of their daily life challenges.

The author, to defend this argument, refers to Divakaruni’s Sister of my Heart, and summarizes the story in the paper, in an attempt to highlight the challenges faced by the Indian diaspora, especially the women in the community.

As a sub argument, the author states that immigrant women bear the brunt of displacement more than men, yet make use of the new scenario to attain their freedom and individuality. To support this argument, the author refers to instances in the story where the two sisters find their way to the United States from their varied life situations and eventually find their voice and individuality in the host country.

The author concludes the paper with an observation that in Sister of my Heart, Divakaruni relates women and the universal problems of discrimination, displacement, disturbance and disorder,and in the process, articulates the diasporic consciousness in the work.

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Allwin K Joy – MOOC- English Composition 1 – Quirks and Rituals

Usually, before I begin writing some serious stuff, I would take a short nap of 15 mins. It really helps, especially when you are stressed and the deadline is nearing. When I finally sit to write, I would listen to soothing music while researching, in order to ease myself into the writing zone.

Whenever, I face a writer’s block, I take a break and chat up with colleagues, discuss mundane things, in the process resetting the flow of ideas. Later when I get back to writing, again I would ease into the zone through music.

Allwin K Joy – MOOC- English Composition 1 – I am a Writer

My name is Allwin Joy. I am a student at Christ University, pursuing Masters degree in English Literature. I am a writer. As far as I can remember, my first experience as a writer was in Kindergarten. Don’t be alarmed. It was a dictation test, in which I scored a zero out of ten. However, it was the last time I ever scored below nine in any dictation test henceforth, luckily. Later on in 7th grade, I remember writing a poem on behalf of my little brother for his school magazine entry, which got selected for publishing. I was so happy that I made up my mind that I am going to be a professional writer one day. Several essays and short stories later, in 10th grade, I was made the school magazine editor, and it was a life changing experience.

However, I had to take a break from my writing spree, to pursue an engineering degree in computer science. Yes, I yielded to peer pressure and took up a career path I had no interest in. Later, resigning as a web developer, I joined a knowledge processing company as a copywriter, and rekindled my passion for writing. Now, as I mentioned in the beginning, I am pursuing a Masters degree in English to re-calibrate my career path and become a successful writer. My university has given me ample opportunities to exercise and explore my writing skills. I have written two flash fictions for the department magazine, which won me a lot of accolades and appreciation from different corners. I have also written a research paper on Rabindranath Tagore for department evaluation, and it was a new experience for me, as I wasn’t used to academic writing. Now, I am preparing to write my dissertation, and I hope this course would help me improve my academic writing skills.

Allwin K Joy – Fractured Identity – The Jagged Path of Diaspora in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Mistress of Spices

Lamor, Lisa. “Fractured Identity – The Jagged Path of Diaspora in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Mistress of Spices.” Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato (2011): 5-84. Cornerstone. 2011. Web. 16 June 2016.

Lamor, through an analysis of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Mistress of Spices (1999), tries to illustrate the presence of fracturization of identities, structures and theme in the novel. The author’s main argument is that in studying the fractured identity present in a diaspora as represented in Divakaruni’s novel, one could observe that by successfully processing the fractured identity issues, the women characters in the novel are ultimately empowered.

As a subargument, Lamor states that the negotiation of fracturization becomes vital especially in dealing with gender-based assumptions of success. The author closely examines the various instances of fractured identity in the diasporic characters in India as represented in the novel.

Lamor further observes that with the use of fracturization in the novel, the experience of transformation in the journey and lives of the immigrants in America is represented as painful and rending. She then argues that as this novel and other works under diasporic literature focuses primarily on the struggles and challenges of adjusting to the immigrant life in America, in a literary study of such works, the researcher must invest in the immigrant’s experience of being stranded between a world left behind and another. To support this argument she cites Ranajit Guha:

continue a little longer with our concern for the impasse in which, literally, [the migrant] finds himself: stranded between a world left behind and another (157)

Lamor concludes by acknowledging the recognition of themes of fracturization and fractured identity in narratives as vital in validating the prevalence of themes and their effect on the characters.

Allwin K Joy – Indian Diaspora: Metaphor and Reality (Indian Literature)

Rayaprol, Aparna. Negotiating Identities: Women in the Indian Diaspora. Delhi: Oxford UP, 1997. 01-34. Print.

Chapter one titled, “Indian Diaspora: Metaphor and Reality” offers some interesting insights on the Indian diasporas and the negotiation of immigrant identity within host countries around the world. Rayaprol begins with the argument that when it comes to the identity of immigrants in the host country, there is no longer a mere homogenization of cultures or the melting pot thesis, but instead the Third World now occupies a space within the First.

However, Rayaprol states that even though the immigrant culture occupies a separate space within the host culture, they tend to reconstruct their idea of ‘homelands’ into fictive communities, that are part real and part imagined, according to the multiple cultures and experiences they encounter. She cites a passage from Salman Rushdie’s Imaginary Homelands which states that when we move to a new country, we tend to fill up our memories of the land we left behind by creating fictions, not actual cities or villages, but invisible and imaginary homelands, Indias of the mind. She describes how remembered places remain symbolic anchors of community for the dispersed people, which inspires them to reconstruct their home culture imaginatively in their new lived world.

She then reserves an entire section on “The Indian Diaspora”, debunking certain assumed terminologies and revealing cultural and social variations in the Indian Diasporas in different host countries around the world. She points out that for decades overseas Indians had no contact with each other, causing a wide range of variations in their character and achievements. After investing separate sections for Indian immigrants and their history in different parts of the globe, she converges on the Asian Indians in the United States, the gender differences in their religious behaviour, and subsequently how Indian women played a crucial role in the reconstruction of tradition and religion in the United States, the different aspects of which comprises the rest of the book.