Let me start by saying that I do not read chick-lit. The genre doesn’t interest me at all. Not because I am a man, but because I think that most chick-lit is only about generalizing men with the age-old tag, “All Men Are Bastards” and it is fact, or at least what I tried reading of chick-lit in the past. So I wonder sometimes, how many bastards have some women really known to make such sweeping statements? It must have then been very sad for them to know such kind of men. May be at some level the expectations of the genders are different and hence the so-called, “divide”. Well, having said all of this, I thought why not give chick-lit one more go and I then started reading, “I Kissed A Frog and Other Stories” by Rupa Gulab.
The book as the title suggests is a collection of short stories, seventeen to be precise and spread across three sections. So the sections are on love, friendship and modern-age fairy tales. I enjoyed the stories and at the same time felt strongly that in some places, it was only the woman’s perspective that was visible. The undertones or sometimes overtones of feminism (I do not know if this is the right word to use here, however I shall) were present throughout the book. Having said that, for me some stories stood out the most. “Au Revoir”, a beautiful story of letting go of friendship in the face of death and “Welcome to the Sisterhood” with its not so unique theme and yet definitely so for our country was bittersweet and left me with a big broad grin. “The Ex Files” on the other hand seemed straight out of a romantic comedy, which ends with finding a new relationship closer to home. “Diet Wars” was forced writing according to me and I am glad it ended soon. “Heavy Weather” is the kind of story that you wish would happen to you. It is ideal in every single way.
I loved the modern-age fairy tales a lot. They are short and to the point and also make you laugh. By that point in the book, I had also gotten used to the women driving the plot and getting things their way. The writing is refreshing and razor-sharp. Ms. Gulab knows how to use her words and when to strike them. The book is a racy read. I finished it in one sitting and did not want to let go. I would definitely read “The Great Depression of the 40s” as it seems very interesting and at the same time different from this one. All I can say is that I am glad I read “I Kissed a Frog” because I needed that change of mind and had to get away from heavy-handed literary fiction. I would recommend it to those looking for a light read.