Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why the urban Indian woman is a fascinating creature

By John Cheeran
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan is a blessed woman by her own admission. By age 15, she figured out what she wanted to do for the rest of her life—write. To write till you die can be a frightening prospect for many but not for Meenakshi. “I want to write forever. I want to write and write,” says Meenakshi.
There can be no comparison between Meenakshi and Arundhathi Roy. Roy has written only one book, The God of Small Things, and put a full stop to fiction. But Meenakshi belongs elsewhere.
Admittedly, she is “India’s answer to Bridget Jones”, as the cover of her latest book, Cold Feet, (Published by Penguin) proclaims. Unlike Helen Fielding’s single, 30-something, fictional career woman, Meenakshi is for real, although her blog jottings pulled in all kinds of surfers towards her. Well, Meenkashi is the chick-lit diva.
She admits that ‘class divide’ exists among Indian English writers. “One has to concede that point. There are literary fiction writers and those who are like me. But what’s wrong with it? Such divide is there at all places, in all spheres. What matters is I’m being read.”
Meenakshi belongs to an age where they want to have their cake and eat it too. She wants to write not only a good book but a successful one too. “I guess both would be the same. But I will not mind even if a good book of mine does not sell like hot cakes,” says Meenakshi.
Then it is not out of place when Shayna, one of the five single women characters in Cold Feet, says: “Because I want my cake and eat it too. What a stupid expression though. Whose cake do I have if I’m not allowed to eat it? This is my goddamn cake, I’m going to go face downwards in it and emerge with my eyelashes covered in icing. When I’m eating my cake you can bet I’m going to have a second helping.”

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