Looking for Love?

December 29, 2012

Book Review - 107 : Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas

Author : Madhuri Banerjee
Publisher : Penguin Metro Reads

Kaveri, the protagonist of the novel, is a 29-year-old, who is soon turning 30. She is a single woman who is in search of her true love that has eluded her this far. She is an interpreter by profession and has mastered seven languages. She has read many books on men and how to land a date, yet she struggles to find a perfect partner. Her friend Aditi, who is quite experienced in terms of love and relationships, offers to help her by arranging dates for Kaveri.

After a slew of unsuccessful dates, she does finally end up in a relationship, which is kind of ephemeral with the man, but true and eternal with her own self. The plot of the novel progressively moves from Kaveri being a lonely 30-year-old single woman, who is going through the roller coaster ride of a romantic relationship, to her discovering her own individuality.

This is one clit-lit (oops, chick-lit) which is almost done correctly. Kaveri may not be the best central character you will read this year, but she grows on you. Living in a sexually repressed environment, she gradually learns to live on her own terms in a relationship, even though it takes her multiple attempts (and sex sessions!) to just get it right. The story resonates with the lives of quite a few modern Indian women – who in the quest to make it big in their careers give no space to “love” as such and end up satisfying their mere sexual needs with different partners, only to realize sooner or later that “love” cannot be ruled out of life.

Such kind of mass Indian fiction within realms of Chic-lit obviously comes with its own limitations. Why even after living in Mumbai and being 30, she can't find one single decent man? And when she does, she almost experiments to sleep with all of them. You can attribute that to the sexual experimentation phase Kaveri is going through, but in the end it just poses some unconvincing questions.

I am going with 3/5 for Madhuri Banerjee's 'Losing my Virginity and other dumb ideas'. The book has a cynical tone on love, sex and relationships and one of the main reasons why it resonated with me. You may have a polarizing view on the central protagonist but in the end the fact that you invoke strong emotions about her is what works in the favour of the book. Give it a shot, you will not be entirely disappointed.

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