… by broadcaster and journalist Hardeep Singh Kohli. He was born in the UK to Sikh parents from the Punjab and, as a boy always knew where home was: Glasgow. But everyone else always assumed he was Indian, unable to see past the brown skin and the turban. This book is his story of a journey round India as part of his quest to help him discover where he’s really from in the context of the immigrant experience.
As you’d expect of a man with a newspaper column entitled “Hardeep is your love?”, the book contains some crackers of punny chapter titles: Sikh and Ye Shall Find, Of Mysore Men and (of course) When the Goan Gets Tough, the Tough Get Goan.
And here’s his description of the gender differences involved in negotiating airport security:
“Although India has had a woman Prime Minister [and of course currently has a female President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil] and beloved manifestations of the female form come in many of their polytheistic deities, one soon realises the sweet quaintness of Indian pre-feminist culture as one negotiates security. Women are siphoned off into a separate queue, off to a dedicated channel where they pass through the beeping security doorway into a small curtained doorway where the outline of their bodies is discreetly described by the handheld detecting machine …”
I’m off to Bangalore for two days shortly so this will be my reality; it’s particularly marked at Bangalore airport, where men outnumber women about 20:1, so I look forward to sailing through the “Ladies’ Queue” without issue or encumbrance.