Sunday, May 17, 2020

Book Review - Members Only by Sameer Pandya

Photo Credit - Amazon

Raj Bhatt doesn't know where he belongs. He moved to America from Bombay as a child. He knew very few Indian kids. He is now a middle-aged man living happily married in California. He is mostly happy with life and is teaching at a university. It seems to him that his wife who is white is fitting in better than he does, especially at their tennis club. He loves their tennis club and what it means to be a part of it.
During one week, his life starts unraveling. During a meeting for potential new members, Raj notices that there is an African American couple on the nominee list. He always dreamed of a more diverse tennis club. To fit in, he makes a racist joke and the committee turns on him. He feels betrayed since he has put up years of prejudice. To make matters worse, a group of his students reports him as "anti-Western".

As a person of color and of Indian descent, I have often found myself in Raj's shoes too. I find myself sometimes stump on certain social situations. I can understand how he needs to fit in while honoring his heritage. I thought the book was a fun and engaging read. I couldn't help but, think about my anthropology professor from my college days who was also of Indian descent. I now realize that someone can look put together but, have a host of insecurities and issues that they keep to themselves. The book details events in a week and it was easy to see how one event can lead to a spiral of an unfortunate week. I am looking forward to reading other books by the author.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

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