Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Unladylike - Radhika Vaz

The book lives up to its name and is certainly unladylike. I learned about vaginal farts (or something to that effect - I could not locate it when I tried to find it later) for the first time. The other ideas of being unladylike were more or less in line - breast and body parts humour, opposite sex humour, f..ing parents humour, booze/ cigarettes humour, toilet humour, wanting to be a prostitute but being middle class humour, US humour etc. Radhika Vaz is a comedian, an ex-advertising professional and more.
Aleph, 201 p, Rs. 299

Radhika is, like the blurb says - effortlessly funny (in parts). But the story went off track somewhere when she started her US plans. Until then it was fun and giddy-headed in a fun way but then it slowly assumed some serious dimension and one could sense a restraining hand on the narrative. At one point I wondered what happened to the main objective of going to the USA in the first pace until the main objective makes a sudden entry in one chapter. Only sometime towards the end does she take that restraint off and ease back a bit.

It left me feeling that Radhika has so much more to offer than what she did in this book. There is a feisty angle to her, a brazen honesty and a fine sense of humour which makes her extremely interesting as a person. But the is not all of her - she is more than that brand 'Unladylike' - and perhaps my grouse is that I have been shortchanged as a reader in not knowing the other aspects. The book would have been gentler, maybe even some 'ladylike' parts but it would have rounded off what could have been a far more interesting book. The first half is far more relatable and funny while the second half failed to grab me and I zipped through it without any feelings of guilt of having missed something.

Radhika has a distinct voice, is brutally honest and has an easy and effortless humour. All honest creative work is laudable and so is this. But this is not her best work and I am sure she will come back with a funnier book soon. Can't miss this - the cover is brilliant.

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