Mango Season Amulya Malladi English Literature Essay

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Mango season is an ineffable masterpiece of Amulya Malladi. I am very impressed and proud to be a Telugu myself. This whole journey of Mango Season had been really wonderful. I have never thought that there would be a book on Telugu cultures and we would be analyzing the story for our literature studies. But at the other end of the string, even though I am an Indian, I had never known all the cultures and traditions of my very own culture and this is an eye-opener for me to turn over a new leaf and start knowing all the cultures, and why do we practice such cultures in our Telugu community. Coming back to mango season, I had identified 3 main issues which are really closed to my heart.

One of the main issues I would like to highlight in this novel is arranged marriage versus love marriage. This had always been an issue debated in every Indian family when it comes to marriage. The daughter/ son love someone else but were asked to marry the person chosen by their parents. This issue can clearly been seen in this novel as this whole story reflects on Priya who is facing a conflict in choosing an arranged or love marriage. Arrange and love marriages have their own advantages and disadvantages. Arranged marriage shows a sense of respect and trust of the younger generations towards their elders by obeying them in deciding our future life partner. While, on the other hand, love marriage portrays our courage and determination in fighting for our love and to be with the person we love. Priya, the main character in this novel is a Telugu girl who comes from the highest caste which is from a Brahmin family. So, it is a must for her to marry a Telugu Brahmin. The conflict begins when Priya is in love and is already engaged with a black American, Nick. When she tells her parents and her grandparents about this issue they totally disagree and would never want an American guy to be Priya's husband. Here, she has a conflict with the family where none of them are to support her except Nate and Sowmya. When, Priya decided to marry Nick, no matter what happens, Thatha replied that if you marry this man, then you are not my family. This shows how strict older generations are in forbidding a love marriage.

In my opinion, I would rather have an arranged marriage. The main reason is because, parents know what is the best for their children and have the wisdom and wherewithal to select the best candidate, the marriage will benefit from the support and encouragement of their elders and hence will be durable and permanent. There are significantly fewer divorces or separations between people of arranged marriages. Based on Noreen, who wrote in Indiamarks website, he stated that Indians look at marrying a person they don't know, gives one "a lifetime to learn to love them". He also included that an Indian woman described it as "Here, we get married without having feelings for the person. We base our marriage on commitment, not on feelings. As our marriage progresses, the feelings develop. And yes! I truly agree with it. At the same time I would like to stress that, when people think of arranged marriages, they often picture a boy or girl forced into a relationship in which they have absolutely no choice. However, in reality, this is simply not the case; before the marriage becomes official the bride and groom have the opportunity to meet each other. It's not like the couple see each other on the wedding day for the first time or just once before the wedding. There is usually a period of months after the couple is engaged, where the couple gets to know each other, meet, talk and discuss the future. This time after the engagement to the wedding day is sort of the dating period for the couple.

The second issue I would like to highlight from this novel is the adaptation of western culture. In the context of Priya we can clearly see lots of changes in her in terms of lifestyle and how she perceives things in her everyday life when she is back in India after 7 years living in The United States. At the same time, we can see that she has a different mindset now as she is much liberalized and modernized. She thinks going through Pelli- chupulu is just a waste of time. This is very common in most of the people. Change is permanent, and you cannot say no to change. When we are in the land of the westerners, sooner or later we will surely get adapt to the lifestyle there. For example, living together before marriage is totally prohibited in India but not in the western culture. Here, we can see that Priya's lifestyle had changed when she went to The States. She lived together with Nick in the same roof even though they are not married yet and on top of that she had also made love with Nick. Besides that, the westerners call people by their names even though the person is much older than them. In this novel we can see that Priya calls Nick's mum by her name, Frances, even though she is much older than Priya. So, based all this facts from the story I can deduce that we will get adapted to the culture where we are, like how the phrase goes, when in Rome do as the Romans do. Priya was in The States for 7 years. This is a long stage for her to really get to know all the cultures of the westerners and thereby get assimilated with the culture there.

In one of the article by The Associated Press stated that when you are in America being Indian and being here, you shy away from it or hide from it because you want to be like everyone else. It is very hard to maintain our own culture and belief when all around us are Americans. That's what Priya went through, Indians in America were not as many as in India and she found it very hard to practice her own culture and traditions there. Priya told that when she first saw Nick she never expected to pursue a relationship with him, later on dating him and worst of all living together and started making love. Here we can infer that Priya never wanted to face all this in America but she did, and why? The main thing is because she got adapted to the culture there.

My third issue in on inter-caste marriages. Inter-caste marriage means girl and boy are from different castes where one member belongs to lower caste. In this novel, inter-caste marriage can be seen in the marriage of Anand and Neelima. Anand is a Telugu Brahmin while Neelima is a Maharashtrian Brahmin. Even though we can see that both are Brahmins but they are from different caste. Neelima is a Maharashtrian which is a lower caste from Telugu. Priya once stated that being Telugu was very essential. Telugu was the official language of Andhra Pradesh. Being of the same caste was not enough to sanctify a marriage. To marry someone, that someone had to also be from the same state. So, Maharashtrians are from the lower caste because they are not Telugu. At the same time, we can see that thatha was also is a love marriage, he was actually arranged to Ammamma's cousin, Ratna. But after thatha saw Ammamma, he wanted to marry ammamma instead of Ratna. So here we can see that thatha himself practice love marriage but with the only different that he married in the same caste. Their marriage was successful because they are from the same caste. If ammamma was from a different caste, then sure thatha was forbidden from marrying ammamma.

Inter-caste marriages have the pro and con's based on which century our perspective is. As written in Brahmans Within the Caste System by Andrea Pintane, he stated that Inter-caste marriages was very vital in those days because different caste practice different culture. For instance, According to the ancient Hindu scriptures, there are four different caste. The Bhagavad Gita(Hindu sacred book)  says caste is decided based on Karma. The four caste's are the Brahmins (teachers, scholars and priests), the Kshatriyas (kings and warriors), the Vaishyas (agriculturists and traders), and Shudras (artisans, service providers, laborers).Brahmins which is the highest caste are forbidden from consuming onions, garlic, tomato and should be vegetarians while the other caste such as the Kshtriyas and Vaishyas are non-vege. So, if they marry a person from different caste, then they have to face problems based on the food they consume. Besides that, the 4 caste are from different occupations. Parents those days find it easier to be in the same occupations so that they won't have any problems in their chores. But now it's different. With more globalization and increase in educational facilities, there is great change in the views of people. As modernization has affected every section of society, inter-caste marriages have also received acceptance from the people in urban and modern societies. There has been wide change in the social scenario. Parents and relatives of the lovers have been coming up with more open minds with wide acceptance of marriages outside their own castes. So, based on this story, we can infer that Priya comes from a family who still have the older generations mindset on the inter caste marriages.

As a conclusion, I would like to say that America and India are way apart. America is a developed country while India is still a developing country. It's very hard to compare a country which has so different in every single thing. India faced so much suffering during those times that they find it so hard to come up. Personally, I enjoyed reading this book. This had given me a chance to explore the unknown and at the same time increasing my knowledge on my own cultures.

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