One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat | Book Review

I will be honest here. I had no intention of ever reading this book. Chetan Bhagat's previous book 'Half Girlfriend' was an absolute disaster and I wasn't so keen on investing my time on another book from him. But then this online portal was selling the One Indian Girl for 1 rupee, yes! 1 freaking rupee and I couldn't just stop myself from hitting the buy button.

I took my sweet time to read it. Book Promotions went crazy when the book was launched with Chetan himself delivering Amazon pre-orders and big media houses featuring it, all the while highlighting the feminism card. What I like about Chetan Bhagat is the way he tries to tackle with popular social issues in each of his books. This time with One Indian Girl, he is bringing feminism to the scene. It is also his first book from a girl's point of view. 

The story is about this girl named Radhika Mehta and her over-dramatic wedding. She is rich and a feminist and have had two boyfriends before. More than half of the book is flashbacks about her adventures with the two boyfriends. The remaining portion is about an exotic hotel, her arranged fiancee, a very irritating mother and Indian stereotypes.

The storyline is definitely better than Half Girlfriend and this one has far less bollywood-istic scenes in it. One Indian Girl did manage to keep me hooked until the end (read disappointing end) and it was a pretty smooth read with a very less number of dragging paragraphs. The characters were averagely good but not something anyone would go fangirling around. I think that unnecessary effort was put into making the male characters villainous just to make the feminism game strong when none of the characters were exactly perfect. All the characters appeared cliched and are not likable at all. And unfortunately, the only likable person, the fiancee (Brijesh) is too good to be real.

One Indian Girl shelters a lot of communal stereotypes within it and I am definitely not happy about that. The praiseworthy thing is that Chetan Bhagat showed the problem of men dominating women into adjusting into their lifestyles. I liked how Radhika refused to adjust to such demands and choose between career or family. But I also feel sad that the book got much of the feminism thing wrong despite marketing it solely with that topic. If I understand feminism correctly, I believe that a man performing cunnilingus or a lady sleeping with an older married man and blaming it on an exotic island environment is not feminism at all. Chetan has pulled off the protagonist as an independent strong woman but actually failed to portray a real feminist woman. Radhika is no less of an asshole than her male counterparts. 

The ending and the very small climax of One Indian Girl was very disappointing to me. Looking at other people's reviews, I am not alone in this. The ending is not only unsatisfactory but it doesn't make any sense either. This book is a read-once-then-forget-about-it type and will leave you with no kind of book-hangover at all. 

If you are one of those people who understands feminism in its true meaning and will pick this book for that tag --- well, you are heading towards a big disappointment. What you will get is a dramatic wedding story with the bride's exes swarming in creating typical problems, some badly written sex scenes and the wrong idea of women empowerment. I personally am not so disappointed because I didn't read it with a lot of expectations. And I believe, it was worth my 1 rupee. 

My Ratings: 


(Buy the book here: Amazon India / Flipkart)

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