Is Chetan Bhagat’s new book One Indian Girl about Sex or Feminism?
The disclaimer: i am definitely not a fan of Chetan Bhagat. He writes lousy and exaggerates in his novels, something i personally don’t like reading him even when it comes to fiction which i am quite fond of.
However, I recently was forced into reading this book by my sister. The book was such a surprise and a departure from the tradition of usual romance drama that CB writes. The books describes about the journey of a young girl named Radhika and how she always aced in her studies. More so the book describes about the life of an Indian girl who is working. A girl who is earning probably 5 times more than that of her prospective husbands! A big taboo for Indian mentality! We still live with the people who believe that girls either shouldn’t work and if they do, the earnings must be less than that of the husband. I understand, we as Indian society are changing, but still, this is what most Indian parents and Indian society thinks about.
The book also beautifully describes that how much does a woman invests in her relationships. As it is shown in the book, Radhika never cared for “waxed arms” of beautiful outfits and how she undergoes through all the metamorphosis to appear physically attractive for her crush and first date. Now, i am not suggesting here for a moment that a girls must get through all these beauty treatments for attracting the men they like. I am only appreciating the fact that a girl is so much willing to invest for her loved ones. I appreciate the steps she takes for pursuing the man of her life.
Radhika’s relationship with both her exes doesn’t flare well. her first bf disowns her for he thinks, she being a career oriented woman will never be able to prioritize her home, her husband, her kids and her family. The bf tells her that he has always seen his mother at home, taking care of her kids and somehow Radhika doesn’t fit that image. I was amused after reading the statements Radhika’s bf makes. How can you judge that a woman will not be able to balance out her personal and professional life? Do we still belong to the illusion of at home mothers? Not that i am against a woman choosing to stay at home and look after the needs of her family, but if a woman wants to continue her work after marriage, isn’t it the duty of her extended family to lend her the necessary support and care?
Coming to her second ex, where she was involved with a guy, 45 years old, someone who was almost 20 years younger to her, Chetan Bhagat has shown how the women suffer from guilty syndrome. Radhika is involved with her boss, who has 2 cute kids and a pretty wife. She meets them during one of her visits to IKEA and realizes that this is what she also wants form her life. A messy kid to feed, a doting husband! Again, a take at happy Indian Family! Its not that we cannot find happiness form our work or by doing things that we like. We have been always taught to believe that our happiness starts from a doting husband and a messy kid. A family is what we need to build our happiness around. She wants to settle down but her boss tells her that she has an excellent future and she mustn’t *** it by getting married. He wants her to fly and achieve all the milestones in her career as she is very talented and great at her work.
So, the book in general does present us the picture as to how Indian society does judge the working women and their life style! the family of the girl’s side should always look after and accommodate the needs of the boy’s family, even though it may mean discomfort for them. A girl is expected to be dressed and behave as per what is acceptable to the society. the incident where Japanese banker jokes about not taking a woman seriously presents us the picture that judging woman achiever isn’t the case only with that of India.
The end of the story really caught me off guard. I liked the way he has ended the story by giving importance to the choice the girl makes. She decides that she needs to sort out her past and then look afresh. She doesn’t relent into the pressure of the marriage by her parents even though the groom has arrived with his family and relatives. The writer also presents beautiful concept of humanism which means looking beyond the old cliche idea of feminism. After all, we are all human beings first and anything else later. We need love care and respect from each other. The world will certainly be a much better place to live in if we understand and practice this simple basic concept. So yes, the book is more about the new way of defining feminism and giving the choice of taking important life decision to a woman.
Candidly, neither sex, nor feminism.
Frankly speaking, I had no intention to spend a penny on Chetan Bhagat.
It is only yesterday, I got that ‘amazing bestseller’ ONE INDIAN GIRL’ as a PDF (free of course) and eventually ended up realizing how right I was! The ‘inner me’ (those who finished reading can justify this ‘mini me‘) popped an appropriate one-word description for it. Guess what? it’s that landmark ‘F-‘ word, which Chetan deliberately uses here and there in every book. To be precise,this book furnishes no exception.
The Good news is, here also, you will get an abundance of sex scenes, another PUNJABI family (remember TWO STATES? for God’s sake, it’s a girl here), another dude from engineering (Brijesh, the facebook guy, addicted to cricket and Bollywood movies) another dude earning lot’s of money, managing distress debt banks.Well,can someone please slate me an exception? The familiar Cliched Ketchup is ready. Serve the food. Hit the screen. Best selling author in Amazon pre-order. The simple formula (Mathematics always works,beta!) may invite dozens of critics but success story is all the same.
To quote Bhagat,”…I liked him. I could say yes. Maybe not an ‘oh my God wow’ type yes, but at least ‘there’s no reason to say no’ kind of yes.” But now, of course, the shoe pinches. It’s the first book where Chetan tries to prove himself an intellectual. He repeatedly uses the word ‘feminism’ while not being aware of what to do with this term. After spending a fair amount of pages mulling over it, at last, he leaves the protagonist without any clue. A question hangs in the air, ARE THE FEMINISTS TOO DELICATE TO HANDLE RELATIONSHIPS? Ahem girls, ask Chetan. Please don’t make a face in front of me.
No, Offcourse not.
Don’t expect any mainstream social issues or causes in Chetan Bhagat’s books. He better knows what will be sold and what not. The content will be about a love(?) story of any high society (or a normal girl trying to enter into the high society) girl with description of her body parts, sex life, lust and desire.
He knows how to tempt the young generation by adding hot masala topics and such lame words to depict sex scenes. The readers( I wiil say fans) are also awaiting the book for the same kind of B grade movie script and feeling high for reading quality literature. (God save them)
If you have read to book ‘Half Girlfriend’ then you shouldn’t expect the next book to be about ‘Feminism’ or ‘Woman’s issues in the society. Rather be sure that another idiotic Bollywood movie script has been written which will be in production within next few years.
So I think he must have written the book for his upcoming Bollywood movie rather than any social issues.
Page no. 57 from Chetan Bhagat’s new novel One Indian Girl
If this is ‘literature’ and content of a Novel(?), God bless you readers…