Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India

Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India

When twentysomething reporter Miranda Kennedy leaves her job in New York City and travels to India with no employment prospects, she longs to immerse herself in the turmoil and excitement of a rapidly developing country. What she quickly learns in Delhi about renting an apartment as a single woman—it’s next to impossible—and the proper way for women in India to ride scooters—perched sideways—are early signs that life here is less Westernized than she’d counted on.

Living in Delhi for more than five years, and finding a city pulsing with possibility and hope, Kennedy experiences friendships, love affairs, and losses that open a window onto the opaque world of Indian politics and culture—and alter her own attitudes about everything from food and clothes to marriage and family. Along the way, Kennedy is drawn into the lives of several Indian women, including her charismatic friend Geeta—a self-described “modern girl” who attempts to squeeze herself into the traditional role of wife and mother; Radha, a proud Brahmin widow who denies herself simple pleasures in order to live by high-caste Hindu principles; and Parvati, who defiantly chain-smokes and drinks whiskey, yet feels compelled to keep her boyfriend a secret from her family.

In her effort to understand the hopes and dreams that motivate her new friends, Kennedy peels back India’s globalized image as a land of call centers and fast-food chains and finds an ancient place where, in many ways, women’s lives have scarcely changed for centuries. Incisive, witty, and written with a keen eye for the lush vibrancy of the country that Kennedy comes to love, Sideways on a Scooter is both a remarkable memoir and a cultural revelation.

Title:Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781400067862
Format Type:

    Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India Reviews

  • Em*bedded-in-books*

    this was an interesting read. But I have many issues with this book, especially as it is non-fiction. I am a resident Indian and I was shocked to see the India portrayed here. Brahmins, with one or tw...

  • The Tick

    My biggest issue with this book was that some of it was...not inaccurate, but so generalized and oversimplified that it can lead the reader to jump to inaccurate conclusions. I noticed this most when ...

  • Katie

    When I first stumbled across this book, I was expecting a one-country remix of the hugely popular Elizabeth Gilbert memoir Eat, Pray, Love. The subtitle “Life and Love in India” makes it sound a b...

  • Zhiqing

    Being a regular listener to NPR's Marketplace (despite its frequent China bashing)over the years, I always find myself wondering how NRP's foreign correspondents such as Frank Langford, Miranda Kenned...

  • Andrea

    A pleasant surprise, so 3.5I was fully expecting this to be a light, quick read of a fairly routine offering of the type where the author has taken herself off to some random place to find herself - t...

  • Nags

    A very long book but maybe justified considering the subject. There's a lot of the usual stuff - firangi in India facing issues, etc. However, the author lives in a non-expat locale, has Indian friend...

  • Tara Chevrestt

    First of all, I get that this is a memoir.. but even with a memoir, the narrator can SHOW the story if they choose. This entire memoir is TOLD. Telling makes for very dull reading and I'm sorry to say...

  • Jaylia3

    This is a fascinating, insightful book—as gripping as a good novel—because it gives the reader an intimate glimpse into the hearts and minds of several Indian women navigating their lives in a cou...

  • David Peters

    It took me quite a while to come to terms with this book. While it was quite readable and I liked the author (which is not necessarily required, but very helpful in a memoir), something just did not c...

  • Amanda

    When I picked up Miranda Kennedy's Sideways on a Scooter I expected the book to be about the author's experiences in adapting to a culture vastly different from what she was accustomed. Thankfully, mu...