On the Outside Looking Indian
How My Second Childhood Changed My Life
By Rupinder Gill
(Riverhead Trade, Paperback, 9781594485770, 288pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
A memoir of a young woman, the product of a strict upbringing by conservative Indian parents, who decides to go on a Ram-Singha, her Indian version of the rumspringa, and learns how to dance, swim, drive, travel, and play in order to be happy.
Rupinder Gill was raised under the strict rules of her parents' Indian upbringing. While her friends were practicing their pliés, having slumber parties, and spending their summers at camp, Rupinder was cleaning, babysitting her siblings, and watching hours on end of American television. But at age 30, Rupinder realized how much she regretted her lack of childhood adventure.
Stepping away from an orderly life of tradition, Rupinder set put to finally experience the things she missed out on. From learning to swim and taking dance lessons, to going to Disney World, her growing to-do list soon became the ultimate trip down non-memory lane. What began as a desire to experience all that had been denied to her leads to a discovery of what it means to be happy, and the important lessons that are learned when we are at play. Reminiscent of Mindy Kaling, this is a warm funny memoir of the daughter of Indian immigrants learning to break free and find her own path.
when we are at play.
Rupinder Gill's writing has been published in the National Post and the McSweeney's website. She has written for CBC Radio and Canada's This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
“In this terrifically funny and engaging memoir, Rupinder Gill sets out to do the things that were forbidden during her ‘typical Indian’ adolescence. In the process, she begins to understand her identity as a daughter of immigrants, and to figure out what she truly desires for her own future. Gill’s narration is full of wit, longing, and so-bad-it’s-good 80s nostalgia; reading this book is like going on a trip with a great new friend.”—Bich Minh Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha’s Dinner
“Rupinder Gill has written a hilarious book about childhood longings and coming to terms with the family you've been dealt. I truly enjoyed this book.”—Mishna Wolff, author of I’m Down
“Rupinder Gill is like a one-woman Truth and Reconciliation committee, humanely—and hilariously—squaring her strict Indian upbringing with the hardly less rigorous challenge of learning to stand on her own two feet. Deeply funny, deeply fresh, and deeply fair: the memoirist's sacred trinity. All hail!”—Rachel Shukert, author of Everything is Going to Be Great
“An honest . . . humorous account of growing up the child of Indian immigrants. . . . Throughout, Gill writes about her parents in a balanced way, presenting them as neither angels nor demons. The tone is lighthearted, and Gill is a heroine to root for—relatable, imperfect and prone to both success and failure. . . . A lighthearted read.”—Kirkus