Essay Example on Indian American author poet and professor Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni








Indian American author poet and professor Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni left Calcutta West Bengal when she was only 19 years old of age to pursue her education in the land of dreams the United States of America Once arrived Banerjee had to work countless jobs to earn both her master's degree at Wright State University and a Ph D at the University of California where she majored in English Benerjee is the co founder of Maitri a helpline founded in 1991 for South Asian women dealing with domestic abuse she also serves on the advisory board of a similar organization in Houston Daya Banerjee works on the recognizable board of Pratham Houston a non profit organization who works together in order to bring literacy to millions of disadvantaged Indian children Her starting career began as a poet in where she released 2 famous poems Black Candle and Leaving Yuba City that gained recognition of several award titles Her short stories have been published in over 50 magazines Her collection of short stories Arranged Marriage was first published in 1995 where she won multiple awards like the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award PEN Josephine Miles Award and even the American Book Award Banerjee s novel The Mistress of Spices was released as a film of the same name in 2005 in addition her novel Sister of my Heart was made into a television series in Tamil and aired in India now her novel One Amazing

Thing has currently been optioned by the Hollywood production company Gillen Group to cast it as a movie Her successful work has been reproduced and translated to original languages in several countries including Netherlands Israel Indonesia Bengal Turkey and Japan As of today Banerjee resides and teaches in Texas where she is the McDavid professor of Creative Writing at the prestigious University of Houston in the Creative Writing Department where majority of her work is mainly focused on Indian immigrant women who try to overcome the adversities in order to adapt to a new homeland like she did in her past In July 28th 2008 Banerjee wrote the short story called Clothes where she introduced a young Indian woman who went through a state of transcultural change in America that is symbolized by her clothes and the color of her clothes The story begins as Mita a young Indian lady gets prepared to meet the person who travels from California to Calcutta and will potentially become her husband In Indian culture all women are assigned a husband at an early age without their own consent as this practice takes place her two friends help her get everything ready as the starting setting she appears to wearing a yellow sari that in literature symbolizes happiness and loyalty 

This is where Mita starts off her transition from a young daughter to a wife She is in a way excited to start a new life She then argues with her parents when it came down to the sari she would wear although she insisted she wanted blue for her journey which meant possibility her mom declared it had to have red to represent luck in marriage they finally combined both colors she received a midnight blue sari with red bordering Besides representing possibility and luck this part of the stories shows how Mita starts to be independent has she transitions into her new life After meeting Somesh the Indian American husband secretly introduces her to American apparel jeans blouses and many more he also shares with her that he pictured her becoming a teacher one day shocking was the time it took Mita to see his different intentions but it was because he had come from America where there are different traditions in the culture A week later after the wedding Somesh returns to America with the explanation that he had to work for money at a 7 eleven as he talked Somesh slowly stroked her cheeks and slowly ran his fingers down Mita s throat she admits to have close her eyes and tried not to move away because it was now her duty as a wife In retrospective it is evident that Indian women have to grow to be in a submissive relationship where they have to do what their husband demands and is completely with the wife s parents 

When Mita finally moves to America with Somesh he provides her with an abundance of clothes that late at night she models to him Then they start planning their future where they dream to move out of a two house apartment and Somesh giving her the freedom to go to college and become a teacher Many of these events are remarkable along the story because it not only shows her position as a young Indian wife who has to be submissive to her husband but a different place she holds in America with that marital status In America she realizes how every woman is able to do what they truly want but her culture tells her she has to stay with her Indian morals While covering the night shift at the corner store Somesh is surprised by a bandit who steals the money of the store but by default shoot him dead When given the news Somesh s family cry a river while Mita processes the event in her head His death and white outfit symbolizes a new beginning for Mita as she decides to stay in America remembering his husband s words of graduating from college By the end of the story Mita finds herself working in Somesh s 7 eleven but also as a new woman who is not defined by any culture and how the transition from daughter to wife led her to become an independent woman

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