A Fun Experiment With Writing Review
For fun and experiment I have personified myself as Radhika and tried to write the review of One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat from her point of view. Who doesn’t want the kind of money Radhika was earning. I hope the one who read it will like it. Do leave your comment.
An Imagined Afterlife of Radhika
Hi I am Radhika Mehta Gulati married to Brijesh Gulati, mother of twins and MD of Goldman Sachs. I earn a lot of money but my family is always my first priority. Chetan interviewed many women for this book and I was one of them. Though I am very busy with family and work but still I found some time to read One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat and also writing my thoughts about the same.
Ok so the story starts with my destination wedding with Brijesh in Goa. Out of the blue two of my ex- boy friends Debu and Neel comes to the wedding convincing me to marry one of them.
As each of my ex arrives the story goes in flashback mode telling more about my relationship with them and of course break-up.
Both of my ex raised question on me being a good mother just because I am a hardcore working woman and told me I am not a maternal material. Neel earned a tight slap for it.
How dare they raise question on my motherhood. A mother is born the day the baby is born. For some motherhood comes naturally and other learn with time but eternal bonding between a mother and baby is always there which a father has to develop.
So here I am having a dream marriage which no girl want. With three grooms and to decide whom should I marry.
Feminism is a very subjective term. Every person could have his/her own definition of feminism. Chetan Bhagat has raised a few issues related to feminism one of them being desire of boy over a girl. But he mainly concentrated on issue where a working woman has to choose between home and career while same is not the case with man.
On this issue the book is based.
I am not a big fan of Chetan Bhagat books but this book I must say was bang on target. Though from literary point of view it was not such a great read and was good only in patches yet it manage to convey the point for which the whole book was written.
Feminism Issue Raised
I am afraid but the book will touch the raw nerve of many women who has aspiring career but has to give up due to marriage, due to children and lack of family support.
These days every man will talk about women empowerment. Men appreciate working women but when it comes to marriage they want a housewife. Or will look for wife who could work but will quit it when asked. They can’t tolerate their wife earning more then them. Men don’t find hard-core working women marriage material or maternal material. I really find these terms marriage material or maternal material very offending.
This is true such kind of men are majority. Though in minority but there are such men who truly supports their better half at every stage both in career and family. They don’t force woman to choose between flying and nesting (well these are the terms used by Chetan for career and home and I loved it). In fact help to retain both. There are men like Brijesh in our society as well that’s why we have Chanda Kochar MD of ICICI Bank, Kavery Kalanithi MD of Sun TV network, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw CMD of Biocon, Shikha Sharma is the Managing Director & CEO of Axis Bank and many more. Chetan himself is one such who has supported his wife Anusha with her career.
In One Indian Girl, Chetan through his three male characters Debu, Neel and Brijesh has represented the mindset of males about feminism and what their thoughts and how much they really believe in it and double standards. All this carve out real well.
Lack Of Characterization
Chetan didn’t give much importance to the characterization of these characters but only concentrated on bringing out their real thoughts on feminism.
But yes he worked on my character that of Radhika. But it came out to be unnecessarily the most weak character of the story. Toppers in all the academic institutions are popular and famous how much nerd they could be. But Chetan has made My Character an exception one who is unconfident, unattractive, remains in background, depends on other’s approval. One who is very good in handling business deals but equally inefficient when it comes to handling human relationship and her emotions. One who has sex at the top of the mind. It is only at the end of the book Chetan hammered some decent emotional stability in her to take the right decision. In fact it is the end which will make the book worth reading.
Also Brijesh’s character was given less space but he leaves a powerful impression on the mind. There discussion on feminism and humanism was great to read. But it was very short. A page or two would have served the purpose and would have given better understanding of the Brijesh’s character. Also his humanism definition was not correct but I think Chetan defined the term to suit his novel.
Not A Decent Literary Book To Read
From literary point of view the book is not up to the mark. Seems like Chetan Bhagat is not writing a novel but a bollywood script. Most of the time it felt like that.
Once I felt that he has picked up a scene exactly from the movie Jab We Met where Anshuman trying to convince Geet to swap the groom and rest he will handle everything. Same kind of scene was created in the novel as well. Com-on Chetan can you please set aside your bollywood bug when writing a novel.
But then Chetan’s book lovers aren’t always fluent in English and are by the way readers so they really don’t mind sluggish and shoddy side of his novels.
I must confess I didn’t read the book word to word. Skipped portions of her winning the deals. If it was about office politics and wits used to win the deals and finding solution then it would have been a interesting read.
Also I skipped Neel’s part as I knew it will be similar to Debu episode. Only difference was Neel was married and elderly.
My character Radhika travels from one corner of the world to another New York, Hong Kong, Goa, London and where not but their is hardly any description in the book. Yes food, though, find its mention especially in New York. A little bit of description here and there but narration was largely missing which could have carry forward the story.
The book is entirely on conversations, between characters, between me and mini-me. The only thing which evolves and develops is the definition of feminism and feminist.
Clearly I was in two minds when I finish the book. It was not a great read yet it was thought provoking book. I kept thinking about feminism and feminist.