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I recently read Chetan Bhagat’s latest book, ‘One Indian Girl’. I am not a fan of his work, I haven’t read all his books but I picked this up on a whim, expecting an easy breezy, entertaining read and it surely was. I has an interesting premise, it talks about a young girl, Radhika Mehta, who is earning big moolah at Goldman but at the same time is insecure about herself and is facing the career vs. marriage dilemma.
A lot of women would be able to associate with the predicament that Radhika faces, the internal ramblings of the mind and the heart, the love for your job, the aspiration to grow, do well in your job but also the societal pressure to ‘settle down’, be a good wife and a mother.
A lot of us grow up with good education, dreams and hopes, all set to make a difference in the world, to be the ‘beta’ of the house, to be ‘no less than a man’, but then somewhere along the line most are expected to make all that secondary, take off those stilettos to become someone’s wife or to do the ‘best job in the world’, of being a mother. It is indeed brilliant of Bhagat to have leveraged this touchy topic to his advantage.
While I won’t deny enjoying reading it, there were parts of it that did make me cringe. I did feel that he wrote it with the aim of turning this into a blockbuster movie like some of his other books. I could already envision some scenes from the movie while reading. It has the perfect ingredients for a masala Bollywood flick, one strong female character, three guys, one creative-intellectual, one sexy sugar daddy and one boring husband material type. With a sprinkling of love making scenes, a backdrop of a big, fat, Indian wedding, complete with a filmy dramatic ending it is meant to become a movie.
It definitely had me thinking of which actress would play the lead. Kangana? No. Kareena? No. Taapsee Punnu? Yes, maybe. But then I saw the cover and got the answer….Oh yes, who other than Deepika Padukone. She would be perfect. Do see the book cover, it definitely looks like a silhouette of Deepika.
Well, coming back to the book, Radhika is seen questioning the need to choose between home and career, she’s seen wanting it all, a high flying, demanding job at Goldman Sachs and two messy kids. A much younger me would have agreed with her or felt her pain, but now, I was almost laughing. “Well Radhika, you don’t know what it really is like to have two messy kids. Careful, what you wish for young lady. Do you know how stressful that is?” I wanted to tell her.
Well, some women do manage to do it all, with some (or a lot) of support, some take a break, some become full-time moms. Each one to their own. We all make our choices, walk our paths, find peace and harmony somewhere in between sometimes, but inevitably we all feel stressed, we all feel the pressure, we feel the guilt, whatever the choice maybe. If you are trying to balance a job and kids, I am sure you feel the stress. Even if you don’t, you still feel the pinch of not following your dreams, of ‘wasting your qualification’. You know why?
“I am two women: one wants to have all the joy, passion and adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be a slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can be planned and achieved.” ― Paulo Coelho
Do share your thoughts in the comments section.