Return to India


Some time ago, when my book was published, I sent the following email to NDTV.

From: Shoba Narayan
Subject: Immigrant angst, NRIs, diaspora
Date: October 7, 2012 11:13:23 AM GMT+05:30

Dear NDTV newsdesk:
I am sure you get a lot of requests from people wanting coverage on issues. Let me add one more.

In case any segment producer is doing a story on immigrants or NRIs, or the Indian diaspora, I would like to submit my second book, “Return to India: a memoir,” as a good fit.

I’d be delighted to send a copy of the book in case you’d like to see it.
Thanks and kind regards

Details below.

It was an email to the proverbial “slush pile.” I didn’t think anything would come of it, because the feeling is that in India, you need “pull” to make things happen. As it turned out, some weeks later, a correspondent called Maya Sharma, who is Bangalore-based got in touch and did an interview. She tweeted about it too.

Sharma said that top/senior producers– including Radhika Roy– actually look through emails that come cold to that email address. So if you are an author that wants to publicize your book, might be worthwhile sending an email to news

Yesterday, a couple of people told me that I was on TV. Here is the link. I haven’t watched it yet, because the vegetable lady just arrived downstairs and I need to go!!

For the record, I am a fan of NDTV. It really irritates me that even news-junkies like my father-in-law (who has no agenda) now watches the shrill Headlines Today these days. He watches all news channels for sure, but often it is Headlines Today. Why is that? Is the age of dignified news over?

Thank you, NDTV!

Oh, and if you haven’t watched the TV show, “Newshour,” it is a great show.


  1. Shoba thanks for a courageous and authentic reply. The fact that you are truthful about your choices is what gets people (at least what I see the regulars) coming back.

    I’m not sure I agree about “blaming” your parents. They would not have “blamed” you for choosing a career. Nor do I see a line from achievement back to dysfunction. The world has its Einsteins but also its Paulings and Curies and Sarojini Naidus and Bill Gateses; family dysfunction is neither necessary nor sufficient (after all I am a management consultant!) for high achievement.

    I will write this with some hesitation. Exploring feminism in thought v deed is a fluffy fru-fru topic, you’re aiming too low and you’re capable of much deeper/smarter views. Just about every educated and worldly and balanced person has progressive feminist views. But like you and me they have a day job and whilst their opinions are strong, their actual contribution to the issue is sadly weak and limited to their checkbook and occassional group events if that. In a way it’s like Hinduism in India. Nearly everyone has God photos and images at home and celebrates the major festivals (albeit in their devolved and commercialized format these days), but few actually spend time actually reading and understanding the religion and beliefs. I feel this form of para-Hinduism (and para-feminism and para-whatever-else) is the norm of the day. One can say this in many more words, but basically that’s it.

    The bigger dilemma is to examine the roots of the import-wife-in-NYC predicament. There are so many resources available (including as Vaidehi wrote) to find an additional course of study and then find a job. Indeed some women are transferring within their firm from India to USA. And in metropolitan cities it is possible to find and train domestic help, yet many modern women are choosing to stay home and completely sacrifice their career aspirations.


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