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Book review: One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat
Chetan Bhagat has authored six blockbuster novels. They are Five Point Someone, One Night @ the Call Center, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, 2 State, Revolution 2020, and Half Girlfriend. Chetan's books have remained best-sellers. After their release, a number of his novels have been modified into successful Bollywood films.

One Indian Girl is the author's first effort to write from a woman's perspective. One Indian Girl- the title of the book suggests that it is very interesting and seems to be related to feminist approach.

In an interview, Chetan had said: "All my earlier books were about a middle class Indian male character but in this book I took the perspective of a modern Indian girl and wrote from a female first perspective. For the research, I interviewed around 100 girls to know their strengths and pains."

Chetan Bhagat has also touched upon the topic of feminism in his new book.

"Feminism is a very broad topic and I couldn't have dealt with every portion of it in a limited page frame. So I've covered the things I've seen in my life happening to determined, opinionated, independent women."

The book takes you to its story through its chief character Radhika.She worked in New York, had a boyfriend and went for a live in relationship. But her boyfriend didn't marry her because he thinks that she is a career-oriented girl and she can't be a good wife.

But the basic question is, does 'One Indian Girl' fulfills feministic approach? One Indian Girl never set out to be a feminist book. Feminist is a skewed word for this novel. I felt this book has been written like a blockbuster movie plot because there are more movie scenes than typical Bhagat writings.

Bhagat has tried to take on a huge number of women issues like corrosion of a woman's success, career women being forced to decide between employment and residence, all are very pertinent. Only in the last few pages that you can see the real feminism in the book when Radhika ultimately takes control of all including her life.

The main story starts with the wedding scene of the protagonist Radhika Mehta. Everyone is very happy and both the families have decided to stay in Goa's Marriot Hotel. All of a sudden Goa's CM comes there for an event. Hotel staff reduces the number of rooms booked for the Mehta family. At this, Radhika suggests relocation for the boy's side but everyone denies.

During the discussion on the matter Radhika says, "Do not use this 'girl's side and "boy's side logic with me again. I don't like it."

We will have to adjust because they are the boy's side. Is it correct? But in India, it's like a tradition to expect all the adjustments from a female side. And here the author tries to make you understand the female point of view.

The novel rotates around ambition, career, relations - love - heart break, marriage from the girl's perspective. The book is fairly delightful and the modernist angle to it is excellently done. The novel delineates the importance of girls' point of views. This is a good book and I would certainly recommend this to everyone who loves to read on women's issues and modern views.

She can have many boyfriends. She goes to other countries and then agrees for an arranged marriage and then cancels it. As she is a woman so she can do all these things. Is she a feminist? I don't think so. So, it can be said that the novel is not based upon fully feministic approach but it is based upon humanistic approach.

The story has the typical relation of enjoyment of movie as the description of a Punjabi wedding, sex talks, sex on exotic beach, locations in New York, Hong Kong, London and break-up etc. You can say there's a typical Bollywood type of masala scriptwriting in this book. Author has used simple characters and a touch of peculiarity; this is why I love reading what he writes.

Radhika is supposed to be an envoy of the modern Indian woman. The name of the novel proposes the articulacy of the novel and also the simplicity of its theme material of a normal Indian girl.

The novel begins with a wedding scene which suggests the general beginning of the 21st century masala movie where we usually distinguish the sudden opening without giving any sort of an aspect. The way Chetan Bhagat has launched and developed all the characters independently by giving them a nice attractive recitation, it shows the universal nature of Indian story-telling and customary sequence in which we surely understand the message of the novel.

The writer has used the conversational language according to the reader's logical state of mind. Use of a famous Hindi song also makes the novel very close to the reader's choice:

Chittiyan kalaiyan ve, o meri chittiyan kalaiyan ve

Chittiyan kalaiyan ve, o meri white kalaiyan ve.

The target of his criticism is that we should understand the liberty, rights, and views of women. The author challenges the readers for an improvement on the challenging points. The description of the theme is so striking that one can read till the last para to find the conclusion.

Paperback: 280 pages

Publisher: Rupa Publications India; First edition (1 October 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 8129142147

ISBN-13: 978-8129142146

Year of release: 2016

Price: Rs. 176

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