“Last night there was a snowstorm that made my window disappear. I woke up gasping at the heater. This is my first letter in three years. First letter since I left Pakistan. First letter since Nusrat. “
Tanya Tania is a story about two young women coming of age in two countries that are coming of age. Tanya Talati in Karachi and Tania Ghosh in Bombay, daughters of college best friends, write to each other of what cannot be said to anyone else: a mother who has gone from quiet to silent, sex that has become a weapon, a servant with unforgettably soft hands and a country beginning to play with religion. When Tanya’s brother receives a kidnapping threat, she sets in motion what no one could have predicted, least of all Tania, who finds herself alone in a forbidden bazaar in Bombay, listening to the sounds of a riot torn city coming closer and closer and closer . . .
Written in letters that span six years, Tanya Tania is a story of what it means to be between childhood and adulthood at a time when two countries are struggling with what it means to be Indian and Pakistani, rich and poor, confident and lonely. A story of love between girls, between families and between countries, Tanya Tania, is, at its heart, a love story about what it means to be human.
4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thank you Bloomsbury India for sending me a review copy of this book.
Things I liked about this book:
• For the past few years, I have read almost nothing by any Indian author. I have always had a prejudice against them (you can’t blame me, because the prime examples of Indian authors seem to be Chetan Bhagat and Durjoy Dutta, and I have tried readingtheir books. Enough said) . But recently I came across a few other books which totally changed my perspective. Antara Ganguli’s Tanya Tania is one such example.
• Tanya Talati and Tania Ghosh, both were extremely well-constructed and realistic characters.
• The concept of a book through letters is something I loved. The only other time I have come across this concept was Cecelia Ahern’s Love Rosie, I had loved it then, I love it now.
• Tanya Tania also taught me some parts of the history of our country, about the last decade of the 20th century.
Things I didn’t like about this book:
• The ending was sort of anticlimactic. It just wasn’t enough, because the whole book was built towards the ending, but it just fell flat there.
• I couldn’t relate to either Tanya or Tania. They were supposed to be normal teenagers I am guessing? But I couldn’t relate.
Even though the story falls slightly flat, the writing style and the small and big lessons you learn from this book cannot be ignored. If you ask me whether you should read it, I’d say yes, definitely.