India Novel – The Colour of the Sari

An India vacation in paperback format.

The Colour of the Saris

by Rebecca Ahlen

“The Colour of the Sari” tells of a close encounter with India. Bianca’s journey takes the reader to festivals and markets, to an Indian school and a city full of alternatives, to temples, weddings, and immerses them in everyday Indian life. Bianca not only learns about a foreign culture; she also learns a lot about herself.

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It doesn´t look like a Bollywood movie at all …

Bianca imagined her first job as a civil engineer differently. When she gets the opportunity to work for a year at a vocational school in India, she takes the chance and quits her job in Nuremberg.

On arrival, she is confronted with two unknown worlds. On the one hand she is enchanted by India, on the other hand she discovers the emigrant city of Auroville. These two worlds do not seem to fit together, and Bianca is not sure whether she belongs in either. She dives deeper into Indian culture when she meets a young Tamil, and their relationship grows closer.

But she quickly reaches her limits and asks herself whether it was a good idea to give up her life for the foreign country.

The genesis of “The Colour of the Sari”

In 2011, Rebecca lived in India for a while. India is exotic and gives a lot of room for a story and many misunderstandings because of culture differences. The story was immediately in her head. She collected scenes that she or her friends had experienced and put them together into a fictional story. Within a short time she had written the novel and euphorically handed it over to her editor. She got it back bright red with 22 pages of comments. At first very sobering, but she realized more and more how much she was learning through this criticism. She worked on her writing style, deleted some protagonists and scenes, and tweaked the story. It took her a full year to revise every sentence in the novel. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.

It was a stretch to publish my work, but it was the right move. The feedback she gets on “The Colour of Sari” motivates her to keep going and her fingers tingle every day to write and polish the next book. This novel has opened up the world of writing to her and many books will follow.