Chetan Bhagat’s One Indian Girl is Published by Rupa. It is priced at INR 176/- for the Paperback edition and can be purchased online through Amazon.
I admit liking Chetan Bhagat’s first book – Five Point Someone. I read it on a train journey, and felt that it was exactly what you would like to read on one – something that does not need all your attention, has clever lines, and is, in general, not a bad thing to read, given the fact that at that point of time, most books published by Indian authors were, forgive me for saying this, deliberately pedantic. One Indian Girl was a book I actually had zero expectations from – I actually didn’t read any reviews before reading it – and after finishing the book, I have to admit, I have mixed feelings.
I generally tend to not criticise books on this blog – truthfully speaking, an individual’s choice of reading is extremely personal, and although certain critics have made their statements (and I do mean STATEMENTS), rather than providing a review, I believe that nothing can be better than forming your own opinion about a book by reading it.
I won’t bore you with the plot line – I have to admit, I realized that the book read like a drama than anything else, and I was weirdly enough thinking of certain characters while reading them – I had a vision of Dolly Bindra as the protagonist’s mother, and ended up realizing that the film read so like a film script that it was probably going to need minimum alterations when it goes to become a film, and is G-rated too, because the worst the couple could do was probably smoke Marijuana in Goa.
Excuse me while I grin widely.
Okay, given the fact that the girl had had two exes – and was going to go for a weird settlement in the name of marriage, there are quite a few things the readers will identify with – parental pressure, ‘log kya kahenge’, ‘eww affair’ being some of them. However, at the heart of the book lie a serious flaw – the ‘One Indian Girl’ who chooses to be married is constantly made to regret her decision – and she puts up with it from the very start. Somehow around the line, that just does not fit in with the initial statement she makes (provided below), and that gives me more reasons to doubt her character – she is a bipolar disorder case in the make.
Anyway, given its rather ‘racy’ outlook, lets see what this book is all about. Is this about a young girl who decides to, finally, take charge of her life? Or rather, is this about Chetan Bhagat trying to explain why it is ‘perfectly okay’ for a girl to have a life – but well, even after working in a ‘foreign company’ and earning plenty of money, she just had to justify her stance, and ‘reclaim’ her independence – woman, why did you return to India in the first place? I wanted to ask after reading the book. It is a mystery – her justifications fall flat most of the times, and her ‘logic’ as well – Chetan Bhagat does need to come up with a better thought process about priorities and marriage.
Anyway, the book isn’t all that bad. It tries at many levels to give the reader a sense of being a rich woman in a poor country, who’s desperately trying not to show off her money, but well, destination wedding. It is also quite easy to read – despite the tone and somewhat shaky language which often deters from the narrative.
Disclaimer: The book was sent to Poorna Banerjee for review purposes. The reviewer’s opinions are unbiased.