Author Sundeep Bhutoria’s book The Global Desi: Reflections on Home and Away is a compilation of his travel memoirs; made unique by his constant search for the Indian connect. Be it Norway, Poland or Chile, Sundeep manages to search for and connect with people of Indian origin (PIO), wherever he travels.
The book takes readers on a journey of discovery ― of places and people, with India at its very heart. Be it a quirky café in Brazil or a glimpse of Rajasthan in Rome, be it a commentary on social etiquette (or lack thereof) during a pandemic, the book has it all in equal measure.
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By virtue of being a social activist working in social welfare, international cultural cooperation and promotion of Indian arts, Sundeep travels a lot. Driven by love and need for his daily fix of desi khana, he looks for it everywhere he goes. The author of seven books says, “My search for Indian places to dine is because I am a vegetarian who completely relies on desi khana . The search for my comfort food, led to look for and meet PIO and get to know their life in a foreign land. Many interesting stories emerge on account of this and that one contact leads to several others.” Sundeep’s book takes readers through a discovery of places and people with India in their heart.
In his book, Sundeep extensively shows his love for everything Indian. “In South Africa, Indian dressing is very common, people wear bindi and listen to Indian music but they rarely speak any Indian language. Even in Punta Cana [in Dominican Republic], considered the corner the world, I met a couple of Indian origin that runs a grocery store. That unexpected, brief acquaintance had me describing the present India to them. In most foreign countries, I go by my instincts and end up meeting Indian chefs. Our conversations begin with food but lead to the discovery of more Indians. It is very touching when I see them open their homes to me.”
As a travel and a social worker, Sundeep finds that Indianness has a saleability quotient; he finds it amusing that yoga classes, restaurants or clothing stores with India mentioned, are often run by foreigners. “There is no harm, you see the importance of our food and culture all the more when we step out of our country.”
Sundeep’s book The Global Desi: Reflections on Home and Away is available on Amazon for ₹599