Author: S Mitra Kalita
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143031570
Many Indians know that thousands of their compatriots live in New Jersey, but the realities of these immigrants lives are often obscured by the image of the wealthy NRI. In this pioneering profile of one of America’s most dynamic ethnic communities. S Mitra Kalita, an award-winning reporter at the Washington Post, enters the lives of three families-the Kotharis, Patels and Sarmas-and shows how varied the Indian experience can be in one US locality.
Increasingly moving straight to the suburbs rather than paying their dues in a city, New Jersey’s newest Indians soon face problems of transportation, affordable housing and, on occasion, resentful reactions to their growing success. The fates of those on professional visas are tied to the economy, but others have continual difficulty finding jobs; Harish Patel, a former banker, returns to Baroda several time in defeat, declaring the US an awful, lonely, back-breaking place to live and work. Pradip Kothari, who owns a travel agency, gets so tired of Indians lack of representation that he runs for political office.
Yet while parents struggles, their children often excel in school, and they all have plenty of company the largest celebration of Navratri outside India now takes place in Edison, New Jersey. Whiz kids Sankumari and Shravani Sarma, says Kalita, left a rapidly Americanizing India only to find a rapidly Indianizing America. Lucid and Sympathetic, Suburban Sahibs puts a human face on India’s massive diaspora.
PROLOGUE: A NEW YEAR
Deported from Home
The Patels' Journey
A Gold-Paved Entry
Standing Room Only
Under a Mango Tree
The Festival Family