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A comic look at polygamy

Jameela Siddiqi's novel takes a comical look at polygamy and ancient Indian marriage practices.

india Updated: May 03, 2006 17:39 IST

Jameela Siddiqi, a former refugee from Idi Amin's Uganda, has published her second novel Bombay Gardens, which takes a comical look at polygamy and ancient Indian marriage practices, in collaboration with internet-based print-on-demand book site www.lulu.com.

Bombay Gardens is an intriguing and comical story, which links a sleepless princess, a 15th century songster and two women who meet as strangers in London in the year 2000.

Their conversation unravels the story of Naranbhai, a Ugandan-Indian settler - a small-time landlord who likes to think "big-big".

The book touches upon polygamy and the ancient Indian custom of marrying an inanimate object. These customs cause a certain jovial dictator to get even more curious about the Indian settlers of this land-locked East African country.

Jameela Siddiqi's previous novel, The Feast of the Nine Virgins, published in 2001, was received with critical acclaim and is now included in many university post-colonial literature courses, including in the US, Japan, South Africa, East Africa and Singapore.

Siddiqi said she chose lulu.com for her second novel because she wanted to be in control of the publishing process and found lulu's print-on-demand tools to be fast, easy and, most importantly, free.

Siddiqi, born in Kenya and brought up in Uganda, is a television journalist, broadcaster and music critic. She has also published numerous articles, essays and short stories.

The expulsion of Indians from Uganda in 1972 is the underlying theme of most of Siddiqi's fiction. She is a regular contributor to BBC Arts programmes and is a Sony Gold Award Winner for her Songs of the Sufi Mystics (1998).

Lulu.com was founded in 2002 and is considered to be the world's fastest-growing print-on-demand marketplace for digital do-it-yourselfers.