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What type of file would you like?


Got the grades. Got the plum job right out of college. Thought architecture was it, but felt the culture of a studio that never sleeps didn’t fit with a quest to explore new angles to unlock old problems. Karin Malhotra* used to believe her immigrant parents, who vocally craved for her material success, but at 23, now questions the American dream they’ve been buying.

She quits after six months. Gets on a plane for Delhi, and catches taxis to the old homes of both parents, where glimpses of their countenances show up in relatives’ expressions and remind her they had a history before uprooting in 1972. She and her two living grandparents make masala chai and paranthas, chatting philosophy and life.

Emboldened by the elders’ acceptance of her mission to “see India,” Karin embarks on a trip to Himachal Pradesh, much to the chagrin of her anxious parents back home. But until she steps up to a plateau in the Himalayan valley, alone, to make up her own mind about love, career, and family, she can’t be confident enough to trust what’s in her gut. Which screams against the orderly program that’s been installed in her mind.

Will she find the bigger horizon, in northern India, even when locals chastise her for traveling solo and wearing jeans? Will she resolve the fallout with her parents, who’d taught her to forge her own path, only to resent and regret it when she brightly told them, hoping for joy, she wanted to explore their native land? Can they enjoy an altered Karin, as not the daughter they had designed, but someone else, instead? Acceptance, the dance of rebellion, budding new love, and deep self-reflection make up this short book, a journey into to the heart of a watery artist’s soul.

A true story.

*Some names have been changed.

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