Literature Of The Chick, By The Chick, For The Chick?

Gargi Sengupta

Just another dreamer stumbling through the nooks and alleys of life. Somewhat of an oxymoron in flesh and blood. Sees writing as a way to express opinions and views which gets lost in translation otherwise.

“Aisha Bhatia has the standard chick-lit accouterments – a slightly boring job with a boss who makes her life difficult just because he can. She’s got a coterie of friends – one single woman, one ‘getting a divorce’ woman and a Gay couple, a mother who nags Aisha about her dwindling marriage prospects. She and her friends go out to meet and mingle in the Delhi night spots. Aisha is perpetually almost broke due to spending sprees and enjoys a glass of wine whenever it’s offered.

She meets a cute guy under embarrassing circumstances. Thinks he’s out of her league and snotty. Gossips about him with her friends. Manages a few more prat filled encounters with him all the while starting to fall for him. Then, when she thinks all is lost, manages to hook her man.”

That is a rather succinct summary of Almost Single by Advaita Kala. It is one of the most popular books in the chick-lit genre along with The Zoya Factor. Chick-lits are a sub-genre of the young adult fiction, popularized by the likes of Chetan Bhagat. Indian chick-lits usually have a single, young, independent girl in a big city, looking for answers to the complexities of life and love. Bending the ‘Bharatia Nari’ stereotype is also a major plot device in these books. The Bharatia Nari does not date, drink or smoke. She dresses demurely and accepts the man her parents have chosen for her and she’s happy being the stay-at-home wife and Mother. The chick-lit heroine is an anti-thesis to this stereotype. She socializes at pubs, dates her colleagues and male friends, wears Vero Moda and Levi’s and might as well not marry if she does not find the ‘right guy’. However, commercial success – particularly in the literary and cinematic circles – often comes at the cost of ‘critical failure’. No different story here.

Almost Single by Advaita Kala

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