“That frankly you, or for that matter, any girl, doesn’t need a man to define her. You need a man to support, inspire…understand you. Help you be the best person you can be, banker, mother, both, whatever. And until you find a man you trust enough to do that, why settle?”1
These words were written by a man. That’s the best element about this for me. In fact, the entire book was written by a man. About a girl. From her point of view. With her thoughts, actions, reasons. Oh her thoughts! I drowned myself in this character; lapping up the idea that there is now at least one man out there in the world who made an incredible effort (he did mountains of research talking to hundreds of females across the globe) to understand what females, regardless of race or nationality, experience in every day life. From the thoughts, the feelings we experience, the pressures we face…“He used to tell me, Beta, when you grow up, you can do whatever you want. The sky is the limit for you.”…”Why do people tell girls all this? You ask them to achieve things but when they do, you can’t handle it. Why does it become ‘you are not even a girl anymore.’”2
More than anything, I loved that she was constantly trying to be a “good girl” and always got tripped up by what that actually means. It’s the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever tried to live up to; not to mention the most unrealistic.
It was an easy read and that made it all the more powerful. And funny. Oh boy, is it funny. Any female can relate to her, in one way or another. And any man can now understand what a female has to endure throughout her life and any female can hopefully have the courage to live the way she wants to live.
We, as females, are not alone with the way we think or feel. We have just been too embarrassed to express it, or sometimes fear humiliation if we say, “Yes, I want everything! I don’t want to choose” or “No, this isn’t what I want.”
I’ll leave you with this food for thought: “Perhaps equal rights means giving women the same rights, not the same things? Equal rights to get what they want, rather than equal rights to the same things men want.”3
1. Bhagat C. One Indian Girl. Rupa and Co 2016:270
2. Bhagat C.One Indian Girl Rupa and Co.2016:225.
1. Bhagat C One Indian Girl. Rupa and Co. 2016:258.