Haroon is a challenge to Thatcherite understanding of Britishness. He incorporates a hybrid identity as “the brown skinned Englishman” with his job as a civil servant who travels from the suburbs into London with typical English middle class expectations.
On the one hand, he likes kebabs which shows his fidelity to Indian dietary habits and “he loves it when people come and go, the house full of talk and activity, as it would be in Bombay” (Kureishi 47). On the other hand, as if he were not Asian, Haroon advises his son to keep away from Asian girls since they bring a lot of trouble. Having one of the typical English jobs, every morning he reads the Daily Mirror before joining the other travelers on the train to the city.
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With his outlook, Haroon is more English than he is Indian; but with his dietary preferences, interest in yoga and tendency to imitate the British, he never eradicates his Indian roots totally. When Haroon started his Buddhist practices, he prepares the ground for the British to reconfigure their own identities showing them that identity is nothing but performance.(Sezer5).
Unlike Haroon, Eva his future wife. She is brought up as an English woman, and she knows everything about all aspects of life in British society. Eva is not satisfied with her position. Eva has her own vision about her identity, she wants to reach a high class in the British society , that is why she always looks for any new , in this case Haroon ; the suburban life and the Indian culture , that helps her achieve her goals. Eva`s character is given through Karim`s eyes, “Eva Kay is forward; she is brazen; she is wicked” (Kureishi8). , “she had a new interest; she is launching a huge campaign. Eva is planning her assault on London” (150).
Eva is always active and decisive in her thoughts and actions, and she knows what factors can help to realize her plans (Ellingsen39).