Magazine article New Internationalist

[Getting There]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Getting There]

Article excerpt

by Manjula Padmanabhan

(Picador ISBN 0 330 39286 7)

Delhi-based artist and cartoonist Manjula Padmanabhan has structured her first novel around events in her own past. Getting There is set in the late-1970s as our heroine, Manjula, an affluent, overweight and rootless twenty-something, is agonizing about what to do with a life that seems to be passing her by.

Her routine of lunches at her brother's house in Bombay and attendance at Dr Prasad's diet clinic is disrupted by the arrival of two Dutch visitors, Piet and Jaap, who are touring India seeking spiritual enlightenment. Manjula feels her own awakening may be sparked by time abroad. She resolves to go to the United States and, together with her long-suffering boyfriend Prashant, flies to New York. However, despite relishing the freedom to express her feminist sentiments at dinner parties, she finds that the constant pressure to consume is turning her into a rapidly expanding couch potato. …

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