Erotic stories for Punjabi widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal is not what you expect it to be. The name is intriguing and becomes the reason why most people pick it up or hesitate to do so. In reality, the book is lively and thought-provoking. It is an East meets West story. It has community relations, friendships, and a little bit of mystery.
The novel is set in Southhall, London. An area know to be full of Sikh immigrants. It is a haven for vegetable vendors and tea shops, stores selling saris and samosas, and most prominently, the Gurdwara. The main character of the book is a young girl named Nikki. She is a first-generation British Sikh, who wants to live her life on her own terms and moves out of her parent’s house to do so. She works at a pub as a bartender to make ends meet. To get a more stable income she impulsively takes a job teaching a “creative writing” course at the community center in the Gurudwara.
The course turns out to be something else and everything around Nikki changed. She got to know more about the lives of the women and how they live in constant fear. They have so many rules and restrictions even after coming to live in a so-called “modern” country.
The book gives a never seen insight into the lives of the marginalized section of our Indian society, the widows. Who are not even given a second thought in our culture. The book entertains and teaches at the same time. It is a must-read for anyone who is looking for a good read and wants to know more about the lives of Indians residing abroad.