The Vague Woman’s Handbook by Devapriya Roy is everything but a handbook. It is the story of two friends who very different from one another.
Sharmila Chatterjee, Mil, a 22 year old, newly married woman, takes a zero semester so that she can work and support herself and her husband Abhimanyu Mishra, who is pursuing a PhD. They have married against their parents’ wishes. She is late for a job interview at the Indian Academy of Literatures because she cannot locate it as she has left the map at home. Mil likes tea brewed well and swears by Pure Magic biscuits.
Indira Sen, a Senior Government officer, is her boss. She has a son, Prateik, who lives in Mumbai and a 19 year old daughter, Nina, who is studying to be a fashion designer. She stays in Hauz Khaz with her dominating mother; obsessive compulsive mother-in-law (who wants to know the number of times the hands have been washed) and her Uncle. She drives an old car. She receives a letter from a credit card company about an immediate payment for an outstanding amount. Indira and Mil get along like a house on fire, listening to each other’s problems and trying to help each other.
Indira Sen’s introduction, a lady in a blue saree parks her car outside a café, takes out a book from her bag, hoists the sunglasses above her head where they act as a sort of improvised headband, takes out her reading glasses from her bag and settles down comfortably, begins to read and gets deeply immersed in the book oblivious to the world around. That surely resembles me but the café can be replaced by the parking at the Metro Station.
The author has described Delhi and its places, the weather, its people very beautifully. A simply written fast paced book which I liked a lot and am waiting for another book by the author.
A must read for everyone who wants a nice, light read.
Book Source: Bought
Publisher: Harper Collins