Hadn’t been reading or writing for some time due to a professional commitment. So this was the first book I picked up on my flight back from Delhi to Dubai. Had wanted to read it since long, and was finally glad to have read it.
Novel : The nearest exit may be behind you.
Author : Amulya Malladi
Other books by same author : The Copenhagen Affair, A breath of fresh air, A house for Happy Mothers, The mango season, The sound of Language, Song of the cuckoo bird, Serving crazy with curry.
My review :
Ah! The age old controversy!
“Who is more happy?”
A married female with kids or A single career woman living life on her own terms!
A career woman or a Homemaker!
Neither is a perfect recipe and ultimately whether it is a career woman or a homemaker, she sets high standards for herself and compromises more than male counterparts. Eventually she has to find her own niche, her own place which makes her happy in either of the worlds. And yes woman can have both, a family and a career, though at the end of the day, she has to learn to prioritise.
Asmi is a single career woman approaching 40s. She heads the marketing division of a multinational company. Her love life is a mess.
Amulya’s writings have had a special appeal to me because of the strong female protagonist in her novels.
Asmi is best in her work. She loves her work and is a good leader. But like all females, she has a self critic who makes her believe that she is not ready for the post of Vice President. Does she bag the title? Or Does she quit and run away to search for an ideal male who would support her. I am not going to disclose that here. Do read it for yourself.
As the author quotes and I completely agree “Men apply for a job when they meet about 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only when they meet 100% of them.”
I personally identify with this statement because time and again even though I do my work perfectly I do suffer from feelings of inadequacy. Time and again, I have discussed about being a homemaker, yet here I am still very much a working woman. Is it that the grass is greener on the other side?
She earns a hefty pay check, travels the world over, shops at airports, has a beach apartment yet her Indian mom worries about finding her a groom.
Anyone there? I have seen Indian parents worrying endlessly about marrying of their daughters and sons as well. May be as per them it is the end to all means. A security of having fitted in the societal norms!!
Her love life is a mess. She is afraid of commitment and runs away from relationships when they get serious. This very reason, makes her stay in relationship with a married man for 4 years. Even though, “the worst single woman was the woman who slept with a married man.”
Very tactfully, the author has discussed the “big fat elephant” – gender inequality at work place.
Is it true that women have to prove their worth for any job, while men are considered pro. Why woman are paid less for the same amount of work as their male counterparts?
The story of Asmi is a insight for every woman, working or a housewife. Why do we constantly criticise ourselves and seek external validation. We should learn to silence our internal critic before we seek to conquer the world. We must believe in ourselves first, just like Asmi learns to do.
Set in the contemporary corporate world, the novel is especially a survival guide for any working woman. Written in a humorous style, the book will appeal to women of every age and also men who want to get an insight to woman’s mind.
As the author says, Life was too short to take seriously, people should have fun because there’s just one certainty and that is that you’ll die, all that lies in between is a few laughs and a few cries, so maximize the laughs.
Signing off for now, will be back with another review next week.
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Available on Kindle Unlimited.
Kindle edition : Rs 348
Paperback : Rs 1,143.