Title: Tanya Tania
By: Antara Ganguli
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2016 (India, US and UK)
Paperback: 215 pages
Price: INR 180
A lively exchange of letters starts in 1992 between two teenage girls, Tanya Talati in Karachi and Tania Ghosh in Bombay, whose mothers were best friends at Wellesley College in America. Their pen friendship is marked by observations about daily life in their domestic milieus that are being impacted by the political situation in their respective countries. It’s hard not to see a parallel.
Writing to each other gives them an outlet to discuss things they can talk to no one else about. Both have family troubles they find hard to understand or cope with. Hormones are raging. There’s anxiety about school, boyfriends, and popularity. In Pakistan, kidnappings and violence are becoming commonplace. In India, the BJP is a 16th century mosque is about to be demolished.
A compellingly written book about power, love and belonging as two girls searching for selfhood blossom come ofage amidst tragedy.