October 18, 2016

Book Review: She Walks, She Leads by Gunjan Jain


Author: Gunjan Jain
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Rating: 3.5/5

‘Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.’
-Oprah Winfrey

‘She walks, she leads’- is the truth. This is the time where women rule their lives. They are no longer bearing the brunt of someone else’s actions; they are no longer answerable to anyone; they have a life and way of their own. Just like how Deepika’s ‘My Choice’ video went viral for days, talking about women empowerment, any venture that focuses on women empowerment is bound to be a blockbuster. Not because some celebrity has acted in it or is a part of it, but because deep within we know that this is necessary. ‘The nation also suffers from a wide gender disparity in literacy rate with a literacy rate of 82.14% for men and 65.46% for women’- as quoted by Indianonlinepages.com, clearly justifies the necessity of women empowerment in our country. And ‘she walks, she leads’ serves as the icing on the cake.

For years, I have admired ladies like Sudha Murthy, Sania Mirza, Nita Ambani and many more. But never in my wildest imagination had I given a second thought to their struggles. The progress is neither usual nor foreseeable. Every step toward the goal requires sacrifice, agony, and great effort. With this book, Gunjan Jain has made a successful attempt to expose the readers to the struggles and truth of the lives of the bright eyed and bushy tailed celebrities. The author has presented the book with such organization that every page speak volumes. With a mix of personal interviews, perceptions/ comments from closed ones and personal touch, the book doesn’t fail to impress.

Starting with Nita Ambani the way she adjusted with the elites, the way she nurtured her kids, her desperation for having kids, her problems and her desires; everything about her makes readers form a new opinion about her and that complements her. Not only Nita Ambani, but there other influential women who are a part of this book and it was the luckiest feeling in the world to read about their lives. Some of the famous names are Rajashree birla, Indra Nooyi, Sudha Murthy, Sania Mirza, Indu Jain and many more.

The book talks about women who have proved their worth in the fields of fashion, entertainment, sports media, literature, corporate and banking. Here the author’s research and efforts are worth appreciation because reading each page can make you live the hardwork done by Gunjan.

There are parts (of the lives) that can make you laugh; there are parts that can leave a lump in your throat. But haven’t there been books like ’30 women in power’, ‘Arise, Awake‘ and ‘Lady, You're Not a Man!’ that talk about motivation and inspiration? Then what is new in ‘She walks, she leads’? Well, for starters, this book is a product of one of the leading publication houses- Penguin. Secondly, the author has taken care not to present the content in form of a long monologue. The concept of putting down the interview combined with how the person-being-interviewed responded or greeted the author, is exemplary. It adds life to the narration. Another striking feature of the book is the interview/ chit-chat session with a person close to the person-being-interviewed. That adds the necessary spice to the content.

The book comes in hardback cover in the color of power-Red. On the outside, the book seems enticing; it provokes the mind to flip the pages. The organization of the content is done finely and presentation is fabulous. But I felt that there was inclusion of some big names that failed to inspire. Say, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, even Nita Ambani- all these were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, so their struggles did not arouse or enthuse me. There seems to be a desperate effort to pose these women as hard-bitten personalities; one should realise that it is not obligatory that the life of a famous person will be equally inspiring! Where on one hand I was keen on reading the unsung struggles of the unnamed, my curiosity killed the cat. However, I cannot forget to mention the fact that these (above mentioned) names definitely caught my attention and I did read about them.

Overall, a good read- very inspiring and a recommended read for the ones who need serious motivation so that they can walk and lead.

Best Wishes!

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Review copy: courtesy Penguin Publishers

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