Thursday, March 5, 2020

Where the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow by Rashi Rohatgi

Where the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow. Rashi Rohatgi. Galaxy Galloper Press, LLC. March 2020. pb, 270 pp.; ISBN #: 9781733233293.

In 1905 Nash returns home to India after having spent time studying engineering in Japan, which has just won a war against Russia.  India is now feeling they will unite and so have Great Britain leave their country.  So it’s a time for protests and petitions to local and national politicians to win battles against segregation. Nash asks his fianc√© Leela to get signatures for the petition ending segregation in Chadrapur’s local schools, Leela needs to take time to process such an action.  She is definitely for the old ways and somewhat up for change into new ways.  For now she is obsessed with her love for Nash and how his occasional kisses spark her love and desire for more.  She wonders how such changes will affect families.

Things, however, are complicated.  Nash and Leela are expected to marry and live in Nash’s small village.  Nash however now wants to become a lawyer and not an engineer.  Leela’s sister, Maya, has fallen in love with a Muslim, a union that would be forbidden and ostracized by their present neighbors.  Maya believes that such a change must happen along with all of the other changes that are hopefully looming in the near future.  Love to Maya is stronger than prejudice and segregation of religions.

There are multiple scenes where Leela, Maya and their father meet with Nash’s family.  During these visits, much is mentioned that gives Leela and Maya food for thought and discussion.  However, discussions never seem to resolve in a shared agreement about the future.  Leela and Maya read many books as they prepare to teach in a local school.  However, no one fully expects them to teach once they are married for social norms put marriage and becoming a parent over and above being a working woman. 

This is a novel about the journey to change.  Leela will commit an act at the end that totally changes her world and mandates she must embrace change even if she acts like it is all accidental and not part of a revolutionary plot.  Reference is made to Buddhism and the beginning teachings of Gandhi. 

Interesting historical read that contemplates how change demands different thought, feelings and actions in the midst of a traditional society.  Fascinating reading!

1 comment:

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