In the Ladies’ compartment
The Vague Woman’s Handbook, with its rather peppy cover, might catch your eye, but rest assured, the title has very little to do with its contents.
Sharmila Chatterjee, the central character is 22, in love and trying to make a success of her marriage to 23-year-old Abhimanyu and her fledgling publishing job amid south Delhi environs. She is only as vague and wobbly as any one that age, and her faltering negotiation with the world is more essential rite of passage than handbook-material.
Indira, her senior colleague and a shopaholic, is the other vague woman of the book. If you are not particular about language, can withstand sentences like “…the door opened with a bit of a crash and, lo and behold, an utterly Hindi film/Thomas Hardy moment occurred”, and looking for an easy read, this is the book for you.
Rhea Sen is a Delhi-based writer