Skip to main content

Book Review - One Indian Girl



With 'One Indian Girl', CB breaks new ground. He writes in the voice of a woman, he talks about the challenges the Indian society, the Great Indian Family, the workplace keep throwing at modern urban Indian women, and how the protagonist battles against all of this and also, "her own inner voice at times". The last is a very clever and in this context, very successful writing ploy. CB maintains an almost parallel thread where the inner voice of the girl, brought up in a conservative, archaic environment seeped in ridiculous traditions, is often in conflict with the decisions her learned, logical and rational mind takes.
In some sections of the book, I see CB taking a VERY mature and evolved tone of writing - in sharp contrast to some of his earlier books. The couple of sequences (one in her US apartment and another in her Hong Kong apartment) where the girl stands for her dignity and her values, even at the prospect of her dreams and her love being shattered, were VERY convincing. I loved the dialogues, and the nuances and body languages that CB portrays in those scenes.
However, the story does have its stereotypes. The Bengali boy is predictably in a 'creative' profession, miserly, communist in his outlook, not ambitious and unsure about where he wants to go in life. The corporate honcho at 45 is salt-and-paper but super-fit and sexy, has a wife and children tucked away while he sleeps with the girl at work. The geek working in FB of course has a side-parting, agrees to an arranged marriage and looks up to his would-be bride to get his nerdy existence moving and shaking. And of course, the DDLJ-ish ploy that each of these men adopts to wrench her away from the 'mandap'.
Also, the book takes on a very frothy, almost comical, tone when these men land up at the wedding and that did not go well for me, especially after the very evolved and intense writing about these individual relationships.
But, the stereotypes notwithstanding, this definitely, is a break-out novel from CB and a step in the right direction towards the next level of CB-Lit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cricket, Romance and Thrills make the right cocktail this summer!

Cricket is the only game I played in school. Over several years, this is the game that instilled in me discipline and perseverance. It taught me what it means to play with and for your team. It taught me what it means to compete fairly. Lessons that were to benefit me immensely in later years in my corporate life.
Cricket is also the only game that kept me glued to the television screen for hours. Growing up through the eighties and nineties, I watched my heroes on the field snatch unexpected victory from the jaws of imminent defeat, or, lose gracefully in the true spirit of the game, only to rise from the ashes in the next match. And my scrapbooks with their pictures kept piling up.
My interest was not limited only to their antics on the field. I wanted to know them as human beings and not just as larger-than-life heroes. This curiosity drew me to sports magazines and memoirs of cricketers, which, needless to say, I devoured with relish. I would also spend hours watching their intervie…

Book Review - The Fault in Our Stars

'The Fault in Our Stars' is the first John Green book I read. And I am now going to read ALL his books. This book was a revelation. Because, when I picked up the book, I had braced myself for yet another global phenomenon, immensely popular romance now-made-into-a-Hollywood-blockbuster (soon to be re-made in India, I hear), but essentially 'Sympathy Lit' (which I am told is now almost a guaranteed recipe for success in that genre). And I was SO WRONG! Yes, there are diseases, there is misery, there are moments when I choked up, but Green takes this completely irreverent tone,his characters crack genuinely funny jokes about themselves and their physical challenges, and in general, they have fun! More than a love story with, well an inevitable tragic ending, this is a story of hope, and this is about how life should be lived to the fullest. As I read through the funny vivacious escapades of the couple, one with cancer affecting her lungs, and the other having lost a leg…

Kolkata: The anatomy of a city in Agni Mitra thrillers

The first Agni Mitra thriller ‘In the Shadows of Death’ (https://goo.gl/ajgKLn) starts with a portrayal of Park Street on a rainy evening, which goes as below: 

“Those who had run for cover under the shades included men and women who had been working late in the many offices in the neighbourhood, street children who would otherwise flock around foreigners staying in one of the plush hotels in the area, pimps who carried albums loaded with pictures of call-girls and would get in the way of men roaming around alone in Park Street, and hookers who roamed the streets or waited patiently for hours on end in desolate corners of the roads or in the bus stops in their loud make-up and hopeful eyes, waiting to be picked up and driven to cheap hotels around the place. The incongruous mix of people who stood next to each other, skin to skin, in the bus stops or under the ledges of the showrooms of global brands that lined the road, made Agni smile to himself every time he crossed them. That one s…