Map of India. Image from Wikimedia.
Jhumpa Lahiri has provided an engaging, beautifully written set of 9 stories focused on characters of South Asian Indian descent, mostly living in the US, but bearing the cultural heritage of India. In the namesake story, the Das family is visiting parents who have returned to India following retirement from the US workforce. As a part of their visit to India, the Das family decides to take a side trip to visit the famous Sun Temple in Eastern India. Mr. Kapasi, the Indian guide driving the family to see the Temple, after listening to the families caustic dialogue in the opening scenes, reflects to himself that â€œMr. and Mrs. Das behave like an older brother and sister, not parentsâ€ to their three children. For me, the early recognition that Mr. and Mrs. Das are not fully evolved as parents is the major theme of this particular short story, one that sets the reader up to try to understand how this young couple became this way.
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