Barely more than 200 pages chronicling the life of Bhavna Bhava in three distinct phases of her life that constitute mighty milestones for Indians, this book is an ugly truth disguised in a light read. Bhavna Bhavna has been admirably successful in keeping a highly controversial moral topic well in the boundaries of banter and sarcasm.
Talking about her life as the youngest girl born in a typical middle class Punjabi family, she illustrates the many hypocrisies and everyday traits of Indian families that seem harmless, but have long lasting impacts.
In this diary of hers, she narrates how her marriage was of utmost priority to her parents, how “love” and “happiness” were completely out of context for successful marriages, how patriarchy is an age old ritual followed especially in middle class India, how divorce is a name of the devil himself, and how difficult and yet imperative it is, for one and all, regardless of age, sex and gender, to be independent and live life for themselves.
This story is about how the protagonist struggles for a divorce after finally realizing that the water has gone too deep. And no, it isn’t just abuse or beating or alcoholism, but plain unhappiness and incompatibility that can ruin marriages and families, too. It is about how it is perfectly okay, even necessary, to stand up for yourself. Always. And finally, how everything that happens, can be taken as a positive learning experience, no matter how hard, or how bad.
Funny and light-hearted, yet sad and wise, The Diary of A Reluctant Feminist is for everyone who has once been afraid to talk to their family and had hesitancies to stand up for themselves, thinking they might (god forbid) be coined a “feminist”.