Exploring the complex issues that Indian women face at different areas of life — at the workplace, gender disparities, body imaging and so much more — Sudha Menon’s latest book — Devi, Diva or She-Devil — is a career woman’s survival guide. The book which aims to help contemporary Indian women get through the professional world, Menon shares insights from successful working women like Farah Khan, Karen Anand, Mary Kom and Nisaba Godrej among others.
It is a known fact that women are labelled with regard to their behaviour, looks and more, states Menon. Explaining the title of the book, she says, “These labels are like ‘Chinese Whispers’ that nobody wants to acknowledge. If you’re into your looks, you’re a diva. If you’re naive and good, a devi and a career oriented woman is called a she-devil.”
She continues, “At 20, I was an ambitious woman and nothing has changed. I had a successful career, marriage and then a child and had a career through it all. These days, the need to become successful has almost become a burden because everybody wants it. The women I spoke to, helped me understand that success is something you need to define for yourself.”
From actors, entrepreneurs and entertainers to single women, Menon spoke to impressive women from various fields. “Not all of them are celebrities — I wanted to make it relatable to all women,” says the author who believes Mary Kom and Farah Khan had the most inspiring stories that she related to. “I was awe-struck by Mary Kom’s life. She went back to boxing after having three children! And more than that, it was her husband who encouraged her to get back to it. Farah Khan’s insight on how women carry the guilt of not being able to spend time with their children when they have careers, resonated with me. She said we need to move around the guilt rather than be crippled by it as we have dreams too. Children will understand. And that’s exactly how I felt when I had my daughter,” reveals the author who is an unapologetic feminist. “I want to be able to give my daughter and the next generation of women, a more dignified space to grow up in. I don’t want them to feel like lesser beings or be objectified,” she saysin conclusion....