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Motiba’s Tattoos

Motiba’s Tattoos

Author(s): Mira Kamdar

Location(s): California, Saurashtra

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs

Era(s): 20th Century, Early 21st



In a lyrical memoir spiced with mouth-watering Indian recipes and old family photographs, Mira Kamdar takes us back to the ancient world into which her grandmother was born: a tiny village in Kathiawar, India. Kamdar traces the Indian diaspora, following her family as it emigrates from feudal, rural India at the beginning of the century to the bustling streets of Rangoon, Burma and glamorous Bombay.

In 1949, Kamdar’s father is packed off to the US, marking the beginning of the great westward Indian immigration. We see how he and his children, incuding Mira, grapple with their multi-ethnic identity in post-modern California. Kamdar touches on historical moments – Satygraha and the Indian independence movement, World War II, the “brain drain” years – but she keeps her memoir alive with rich details of her family’s lives.

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Lead Review

An memoir of one family’s history from remote and rural India to the silicon state. Peppered with recipes, this is a poignant journey of the Indian diaspora

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