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The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by…
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The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

by Farahad Zama

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5236829,248 (3.74)38
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Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
This was a fun, quick read with some interesting info on current Indian views on marriage and society. However, it was a little too oversimplified and a bit "sickly sweet" in the ending for my taste. Not bad, but not great. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
Very interesting and charming novel about arranged marriages in India with all the frustration, as well as delights that accompany the process. Along the way the reader learns about customs and traditions of both Hindu and Muslim cultures. ( )
  elizapoppy | Jan 29, 2016 |
Another joy to read! The notion that this is a combination of Alexander McCall Smith and Jane Austen is the perfect summation of this delightful first book in a series. Mr. and Mrs Ali are wonderful protagonists and encounter a variety of people as he runs the bureau out of his home. Being completely ignorant of this way of life, I found the processes very understandable, beautiful, and sometimes comical. The colors, textures, smells and idea of life in this Indian town permeate the text and add a richness to the story that makes it very satisfying.

I will read the rest in this series, and recommend it. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Excellent livre, amusant et tendre, belle image de l'Inde d'aujourd'hui, et de la religion musulmane au passage. ( )
  CathCD | Jan 16, 2016 |
The Marriage Bureau for Rich People is a sweet novel about a retired government official in India who decides to set up a Marriage Bureau. He helps families find appropriate brides and grooms for their family members' arranged marriages. There are some side stories that help show other sides of modern day India, such as one about how his son has become an activist fighting for the rights of farmers against encroachment from industry and another about his assistant's troubles that stem from financial hardships suffered by her father. It was a light novel that taught me a lot about modern day Indian culture, both how it is changing and how it has remained the same. Each couple helped by the agency showed the reader something about a different segment of Indian culture. It wasn't a deep novel, the story remained light and the characters were not complicated, but I really enjoyed it as a fun and easy read. It showed me aspects of Indian culture that I was unaware of and I am glad I picked it up. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
Farahad Zama’s first book is a heart-warming story and a comfortable read. It is a gentle eye-opening introduction to the traditions around marriage ‘arrangements’ and ceremonies involved! The characters within provide ample entertainment, and it’s just a few songs short of being a good Bollywood movie!
 
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Epigraph
For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn? JANE AUSTEN, Pride and Prejudice
Richness does not mean having a great amount of property; rather, true wealth is self-contentment. PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace be upon him.)
Dedication
To my parents, my wife, and my sons.
First words
Just some of the requirements of a perfect Brahmin wedding. The mehendi patterning for "making the bride"; Austere clothes for the bridegroom to dress as a monk in the pre-ceremony rites; a palanquin for carrying the bride to the groom's house...
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Book description
Alexander McCall Smith meets Jane Austen in this delightfully charming Indian novel about finding love.

What does an Indian man with a wealth of common sense do when his retirement becomes too monotonous for him to stand? Open a marriage bureau of course!

With a steady stream of clients to keep him busy, Mr. Ali sees his new business flourish as the indomitable Mrs. Ali and his careful assistant, Aruna, look on with vigilant eyes. There’s the man who wants a tall son-in-law because his daughter is short; the divorced woman who ends up back with her ex-husband; a salesman who can’t seem to sell himself; and a wealthy, young doctor for whom no match is ever perfect. But although his clients go away happy, little does Mr. Ali know that his esteemed Aruna hides a tragedy in her past—a misfortune that the bureau, as luck would have it, serendipitously undoes.

Bursting with the color and allure of India, and with a cast of endearing characters, The Marriage Bureau for Rich People has shades of Jane Austen and Alexander McCall Smith but with a resonance and originality entirely its own. Farahad’s effortless style reveals a country still grappling with the politics of caste, religion, and civil unrest, all the while delivering a shamefully delightful read.
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Mr Ali decides to open a marriage bureau that will cater for a wide range of Indian clients from all walks of life and, encouraged by the indomitable Mrs Ali, he has the good sense to appoint a local girl, Aruna, as his very able assistant. Under Mr Ali's and Aruna's imaginative care the marriage bureau flourishes as it sorts out the future for many happy clients, although meanwhile things are not running so smoothly for everyone in the office as Aruna is nursing a secret that threatens to break her heart, while Mr Ali is unable to see that he himself doesn't follow the wise advice he so readily offers to those who come for help...… (more)

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