Boundaries of the Wind: A Memoir

by Urmilla Khanna


“It is a bad omen to turn your back at this juncture,” Urmilla Khanna's grandmother tells her at the cusp of her wedding ceremony. “You must only look forward.” With these words Khanna begins her journey as she breaks barriers and crosses boundaries to fulfill her lifelong dream of practicing medicine in America. Born in a land of arranged marriages and strict societal expectations, she agrees to marry a Punjabi research scientist who is studying in America, only to discover that no women in his family had worked outside their homes. In America she has to face barriers and cross boundaries again. She has to switch from saris to skirts, give up her beautiful long hair, but she never gives up what is important to her-ghargrahasthi-being a mother, wife and house holder and, of course, her love for pediatrics. It can all be done with determination, patience, and perseverance, she says. When all else fails, she banks on karma. In her memoir, Boundaries of the Wind, you read about Khanna's elaborate wedding arranged by her parents, the life of a housewife in Chandigarh, India, monkeydance performances, and a lot more.

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