Reviews of Neem Dreams
Baranay has risen above her feminine voice and foreigner perspective to strike a neutral unbiased language as far as basic values and issues are concerned. She uncannily conjures splashes of Indian reactions, attitudes or relationships with as much authenticity as she does the American, Australian and British ethos. What makes the novel endearing is the high voltage resonance of the poignant tales of the protagonists woven around the theme of globalisation, leaving a sea wave effect on the readers long after they have finished the read.
The Hindu, 21 November 2003
Despite the neo-hippy vibe of its title . . . Neem Dreams is not your average culture cuisine, the ‘how I got the shits in Shirdi’ kind of novel about white people who ‘find’ themselves leper-hugging in India before they return to their monotonous life-sentences in Manchester or Melbourne, immersed in mortgage and middle-managerhood. Woven around four characters and a neem tree, this is a novel about globalisation, corporate rapacity, environmental annihilation and political villainy. . . .
Never just scratching the surface, the novel digs deep, both psychologically and socially, evoking the varied realities of all four characters. Machiavellian machinery of contemporary Indian politics and the brewing communal conflicts are in the background. A lot happens in this book. It is as much a tirade against MNCs and First World myopia as it is against Hindutva, sexism and Indian masculinity . . . .