First of all apologies to my twitter followers and the readers of this blog, I know that one typically does not write about such pop culture crap but in light of #Dimapur #Bengal #GMO #Indiasdaughter #missingkids and other depressing memes, I am changing tack temporarily.I just cannot stop thinking of what is happening and it is affecting life, work and everything.
Let me qualify that as with any other Indian woman I have a virtual PH.D in romance. We are afterall, brought up on the triumvirate of Hindu cosmology (you can’t get more romantic and hot than that), Hindi films (come on, everything and every aspect of romance is atleast alluded to) and of course second hand Mills & Boon and Harlequins and everything else (+ torn copies from libraries and borrowed from friends). So while I am late to the “50 shades of Grey club” I would certainly not be left behind. One has to read what sold 100MM copies or something like that.
So I read it.
Let me explain my perspective using the following analogy –
Think of the times you might have visited a foreign country and found out about a “good Indian restaurant” through the local gora cab driver and you go in and see that only goras are sitting in the restaurant and you still walk in and take a table. And everyone looks at you, because you are part of the restaurants authenticity. And then you order the food and realize that it is not really Indian food, it is something that is pretending to be Indian food but is not. All the gravies taste the same, flavor means drowning in red chillis and the ingredients have no punch. The poor goras around you are chomping it down because they know no better and sometimes look at you for validation. And you smile at them.
If you were to go into that restaurants kitchen you would find a British Mammy doling out “Swad” frozen foods into the microwave or opening packets of prepped spice combinations (think Sanjiv Kapur) and ladling boiled vegetables into it.
And that is “50 shades of grey” in a nutshell for you and the author is the British Mammy. It’s a bloody fake. I felt so cheated. I could barely go beyond chapter 6 and then had to force myself to speed read to the end of the first book. There is no way I will be reading the rest of the books. This is the book so many goris went crazy over. Seriously! Get a life. There is no story to speak of. The female protagonist is vapid, boring and uni dimensional and her only claim to fame is her virginity (which is probably a big deal in the west) and low IQ. The male character has no dimensions whatsoever and is just a walking ad for every nouveau riche brand out there. Boring, pretentious, boring, unromantic. By chapter 9 or 10 you just want both of the characters to die. Or maybe the female protaganist who is in a mental hospital because of her three personalities (subconscious, inner doggess and herself; though truth be told I knew a lady with multiple personalities and she was really interesting, even the three personalities of this protagonist are boring) has moments of lucidity due to medication and realizes that “Christian Grey” is actually another inmate. Now that would be interesting.
Now stretching the food analogy since I love greasy desi food and we all need junk food in our lives. Think gol gappas, bhel puri, pav bhaji, mathura ke kachori’s, nizams rolls, paranthe waali gali, sarvana bhavan extra special, tangra’s dubious mo mos and so on and so forth. For all these one would gladly trade off diabetes, cholera etc. The same with Romance. One may lose some brain cells but it is so worth it. But “50 shades of grey” is not like that. This is like eating bad junk food. Think stale chips or nachos that you get as a side dish from that delivery service but you never eat. Only people who don’t know better would be guzzling that down. What puzzles me is that western women have so much access to better junk romance than we did. I mean, we had to save, beg, borrow and sometimes not return. So why are these women enjoying such rubbish and equally important why are western feminazi’s up in arms about this book.
To all the western Feminazi’s please get a life. This is a book and you have no right to censor or criticize what women want to read. Women want to read a variety of romances and situations and it does not mean that they want to encounter that in real life. Do these Feminazi’s realize that they are being just like male chauvanists in trying to dictate what women should read? Men afterall read and watch chaddi clad superheros and immense bloody violence. Women have every right to read whatever junk they want so please shut up.
To all those women reading this crap and enjoying it, you are deprived. There must be a gross asymmetry of advertising in literature for women because men don’t seem to be lacking it. There is so much better junk romance available and if you have to waste your time and brain, please read that, please explore the other options.
For desi women, please don’t waste your time. Not only is this not good time pass but “50 shades of grey” is an aggravating read. Please watch some good desi film (A Govinda film is more romantic than this) or just pick-up a bunch of 2nd hand MB’s. Not worth it.
And as far as the movie is concerned, NO.