Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India, By Anita Jain

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The Independent Culture

The pressure on Anita Jain to find a husband started very early: aged one, when she fell out of a building in Baltimore and broke her arm, her mother's gravest concern was her marriageability. Jain's arm recovered, but it is her broken heart, which takes longer to heal, that is the focus of this humorous memoir, in which she details her search for a suitable husband.

A few months before turning 33, in a reversal of her father's migration, she moves to India. It is 2005, and India's finances, film and fashion industry appear to be booming. But alas, the author's love life still lags behind. The best bits of this book are Jain's colourful descriptions of her potential suitors, from Vijay, a band manager with long kinky hair, to Shekhar, a man who laughs easily and seems to hang on to her every word – but not her heart.

Although it unfortunately occasionally slips into cliché, Jain's evocation of the "complicated, perplexing and ego-deflating" process of dating in New York and Delhi is mostly entertaining, informative and tinged with pathos. As she tries to fix her values in a world ever in flux, she searches not only for a husband but also a home.

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