'The Red Carpet' by Lavanya Sankaran was highly recommended by a friend of mine.It is a collection of 'Bangalore stories' as the cover suggests.This is the author's first book and for a maiden venture her attempt is decent yet fleeting as far as long term memory is concerned.
'The Red Carpet' is the kind of book you may want to read if you're waiting at an airport and don't want to gulp down yet another predictable bestseller.It can be particularly nostalgic for those who have seen Bangalore transform from the city known as 'the pensioners paradise' to 'India's silicon valley'.The characters include all the usual suspects and urban legends starting from the dapper chauffeur who wants to give his family a good life, to the scheming domestic maid who steals money from her employer's handbag to the U.S. returned yuppies who are caught in a clash of two cultures.The author herself is a U.S. returned, former investment banker educated in one of the 'hippest' schools in the city.Although her stories are quite authentic,they do not span the panorama of all that is 'life in Bangalore'. Her style is lucid,witty and entertaining. Had 'The Bangalore Times' been a tad more well written and observant of the pulse of Bangalore it would have sounded a lot like 'The Red Carpet'.
Nevertheless, I still see a hint of promise in this investment banker turned writer.She may not be Bangalore's answer to Jhumpa Lahiri but a little light reading shouldn't hurt.