Had just read the first para and could visualize Supriya Pathak heaving a huge sigh, on being informed that adequate rooms are unavailable for the marriage guests. That’s Chetan Bhagat’s -One Indian Girl – a script for a Diwali blockbuster Bollywood movie.
Was intrigued to read this book once friends went gaga over it in WhatsApp group chats. Time pass read, finished in one day, one liners are true, so close to reality…and so on and so forth. Post One Night At Call Center, I hadn’t been able to muster adequate strength to read another CB novel. However, having subscribed to Kindle Unlimited Edition, and with an intent to download a quick read for a 5 hr car journey, I decided to give One Indian Girl a shot for once.
Honestly speaking, I wasn’t disappointed. It did prove to be a decent time pass with it’s quirky one liners and filmy narration.
To quote Radhika: “He will happily discuss computer code for two hours” – Am sure this will be the nightmare of any non IT girl about to get married to a software engineer. Mine included.
Since the book revolves around Indian Arranged Marriage industry, it houses several phrases resonating with same. For e.g. “I have to smile whenever my would-be-husband is mentioned.” or “You are the bride.So? I have to change every two hours?” . All these and many more are true representations of the inner voice of an Indian bride as the D Day approaches.
Next in line are the narrations made to define a girl’s personality:
“This is how we girls are. At times we want to be wanted, even when we deny it.”
“Why? Why do we girls have this defect? Why do we need our men to praise and validate us in order for us to feel accomplished?”
“Women lie about their feelings all the time. It’s amazing how easily it comes to us.”
If you are a girl I know the thoughts crossing your mind right now. And I am amazed how CB knows this – may be he did adequate research as claimed in the beginning of the book.
Now, it’s not all that serious. The book has pockets of fun and laughter too.
When Radhika’s mom rebukes her for spoiling her docile image in front of her future in-laws: “Their bahu drinks like a jungli bewdi.”
On another note, I can totally relate to Radhika when she says: “It is amazing how mothers can justify any action as divine intervention as long as it suits them.”
As the book revolves around an MBA grads, statements such as : ‘You had a 70-lakh-rupees bonus? – totally freaked me out.
The writer also mocks the Indian patriarchal society by making Debu utter “It’s what I have seen growing up. I go to work, make the money. Wife takes care of the home. Simple needs, happy family.” Not sure which needs he is referring to – Needs I am aware of are no longer simple.
We talked about marriage, girls, indian society, what next – Love and Life.
There are adequate doses on same too.
“Sweet lies, they do have a place in life.” – They do..but who gets hurt eventually.
“If it wants you to do something, it will find a hundred reasons to justify it.” – And at the end leaves you a nervous wreck.
“Sometimes the only way to calm your mind is to keep it distracted and busy” – How??
The climax is predictable. I should admit that for once I was in doubt – what if my thoughts don’t coincide with this Indian girl. They did. And for me, that’s where the author went wrong.