Senorita Rani by Aditi Chopra

SENORITA RANI by Aditi Chopra is a short romance about a relationship between a girl, Rani,  born in the USA of Indian origin (Maharashtrian, actually) and a Latin American man, Carlos.  When Panamanian Carlos meets Rani, he is attracted by her honest, simple nature and her self respect.  It's hard to say what attracts her to Carlos.  He seems like a very unfeeling type of man initially, but as Rani gets to know him, she comes to understand his caring nature and also finds him attractive in the way that Latin men usually are.

Rani is an optometrist based in Miami and helps her parents in their Asian cuisine restaurant at weekends.  He is an entertainment manager on a cruise ship.  Carlos and Rani start meeting regularly and before long they realize that they have deep feelings for each other.  However, as in any good romance, there are obstacles.  Rani's parents are very certain that they wish to get her married only to an Indian.  Carlos has no such problem, although he is very understanding of the feelings of Rani's parents, who want the best for their only child.  Carlos has family problems too - he has a young son who pines for his late mother and the boy has difficulty accepting Rani into his family.  However, time and patience will invariably work it's magic - or will it?  Then Rani discovers that she has an unusual medical problem.....

This story is very much a sweet romance - the sexual content is quite limited.  Which is fine by me.  I'm far more interested in the progress of the story and feel that sexual matters are much better kept private between the characters in a story.  Rani's story is very much the story of the modern Indian girl, be she NRI (non-resident Indian) or Indian born, living in urban India today.  There is the maturity of knowing your own mind and knowing what you want as well as the conflict of living up to parents' expectations and trying to have that love for your culture and respect for tradition while at the same time realizing that some traditions are no longer appropriate and have to be put aside.  I think that this book would be enjoyed by readers in India as well as abroad.  Indian fiction in English is growing and I feel that Aditi Chopra who lives abroad, writes a very good sub-genre of that fiction, which may very well be called NRI fiction.  It is good that writers are chronicling the problems of various aspects of modern life.  Within the non-resident Indian community, there is a sub-community of youngsters known as ABCDs  (American Born, Confused Desi - Desi meaning Indian).  These ABCDs have a problem in that they are breaking new ground generation wise and have to find their way to living with their culture and simultaneously moving on from it, in a sense.  It's not an easy generation to be a part of.

This simple yet enjoyable love story is a good example of that kind of confusion.  Aditi, you have done a creditable job.  Well done..