Why read The Hero’s Walk?

 

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Photo Credit: Jon Small

If you have never read about an Indian family in India written by an Indian author, this would be great place to start. Reading diverse books opens up a new perspective to society that may not have ever been seen before. Every policy maker should be reading diverse texts from a non-western author.

 

I am reading Anita Rau Badami’s novel book, The Hero’s Walk. I picked it up on Amazon in used condition for six dollars. I am not 1005 sure why I chose this book over the many others from the provided book list, but it mainly had to do with the price of the book, the speed at which it got to my house, and the length of the book itself at 359 pages. The size is just long enough to keep me engaged, but not too long to make it seem unfinishable in a few weeks. Another key aspect that drove me to read it, was that it had a colorful front cover and had the word “hero” in the title. I felt I could not go wrong with any book that seemed that lively at first glance.

I am reading The Hero’s Walk because I free a multicultural view of the world is eroding in the United States. Many more people care only about themselves and not the rest of Non-America. I was not sure where to start with a country to start with so I wanted to look at the top three countries by population. With the United States placed 3rd, China and India were the two options. I would be perfectly fine in reading a work with either perspective, but I felt I did not have a perspective on India, because I have never read a book placed in Indian culture. Therefore, this book was the lense through which I wanted to glimpse into Indian culture, even if I am only to able to gain a little insight.

I am reading The Hero’s Walk to learn about what makes the protagonist who Sripathi is. From what I can gather, the foundation for his morals is that his family is his main priority. The people in his life matter the most, but due to complicated history with his parents and his children, they do not also agree. However, those that do live in his house, he does the best to provide for them. One of the best examples, is that he has set up a water storage and distribution system in his house with a maze of pipes so everyone has reliable access to clean water. Due to the supplied saline water solution, he and his family must import water and use the created system. Now, I am not sure how widespread the issue is to access of clean water in India is today, but if this issue is happening in a old small town, then it would have to be happening elsewhere. Today, if this were case in America, it would be unthinkable, however not unseen. Flint Michigan is the perfect example. Now, their water was not mixed with salt, but with lead. Drinking both can be detrimental to everyone’s health. Now, knowing this information, should I do something.

I am reading The Hero’s Walk, because I want to know where I am positioned on the fate of Non-American lives. This brings up the idea of Modernization versus Westernization. In this Indian town, a modern water system should be in place so all of the people there can have clean water 24/7 instead of just having water delivered. Would this modern system then make the Big House that his family has lived Westernized? Would his family then lose the family’s sense of tradition? With Sripathi’s complex history, his oldest child, his daughter, had left the family for a live in Vancouver, Canada. Here, to at least some degree, wanted to leave the Eastern culture for a modern Western society. This can bring about a different kind of action on part of Americans. As an American, I would want everyone to have the benefits like easy access to clean water everywhere in the world, but if that is not possible, I cannot condemn someone from trying to leave that life to have somewhere else like Canada or America. Today, I do not think it is fair for people in this country to claim that everywhere should be like America, but no one can into America to live. India and many others may not have the resources and capital to make “America” there. So, people would want to do their best to have a better life elsewhere which may be America. For that reason alone, no one should be denied entry to a country based on their country of origin alone.

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