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D P Satish
Monday , February 22, 2010 at 11 : 46

Rashmi's Stilettos - Newsroom Masala


The novel I've enjoyed the most in recent times is Stilettos in the Newsroom. I found this little book in a bookshop corner and leafed through a couple of pages. I was hooked after just one paragraph. I took it home and read it non-stop.

Rashmi Kumar, a young journalist, has demystified the newsroom in this debut novel. It is a racy account of charming, 28-year-old Radhika Kenetkar's life at a Pune newspaper office. Rashmi's story-telling is candid. She writes to the point, and avoids overwrought descriptions. Like in all novels, there is probably a bit of autobiography here (Rashmi, don't throw your stilettos at me... and in any case, throwing a shoe at someone like me won't make it to the headlines!).

Rashmi's lead character Radhika Kanetkar is a Delhi-born Maharashtrian who goes to her native Pune to pursue a career in journalism. The novel begins with her first day at office. Each chapter deals with a 'real-life' experience. Sometimes the novel shocks readers with its rawness. I am sure many journalists can relate to the novel.

It is peopled by all kinds of journalists -- idle, cynical, middle-aged, aimless, "chilled out" and young, and hardworking, dedicated and serious. Even when Rashmi tries to throw light on many dark sides of the media, she is not preachy. She is like a young sub-editor who has not yet formed any strong opinion on anything!

The book makes you laugh, take a deep breath, think, and admire Rashmi's efforts.

Is this chick lit? Hmmm. Rashmi reads like a mature, sensible girl, even if she poses in model-like pictures! Her plot is simple, and she tells a contemporary story. And that's not something an airhead can pull off.

Bollywood can easily turn this into a movie. Preferably in Hinglish! Rashmi provides all the masala Bollywood demands. ' Stilettos in the Newsroom has love, sex, late-night parties, misadventures, comedy, melodrama, and young protagonists, all of which make it hit raw material.

Kangana Ranaut looks cut out to play Radhika Kanetkar! And more free advice: Irfan Khan could play editor Rameshwar. Cyrus Broacha deserves a role too.

Rashmi writes well. She is engaging, and never loses focus. Will she write another novel. Maybe a sequel? She already has one eager reader in me.

Thank you, Rashmi, for making a boring February day interesting for me!


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More about D P Satish

D P Satish has been a journalist for the past 14 years. Born at the picturesque Jog Falls in Shimoga district of Karnataka, Satish did his graduation in English Literature. He is a post-graduate in Journalism from the prestigious Asian College of Journalism, Bangalore (now in Chennai). After a brief stint with the Indian Express Group, he shifted to TV. He also worked for an American news magazine called ' Image '. He has widely travelled and covered some of the biggest events from South of Vindhyas in the first decade of the 21st century. He is passionate about English literature, classical music, cinema, history, photography, jazz and Cricket. A self-proclaimed centrist, Satish keenly follows major political developments from across the World. He blogs regularly and spends hours searching for readable material from the Internet! He belives that journalism is a calling and a person meant to be a journalist, can't escape from it. A hillman at heart and by birth, Satish lives and works in New Delhi. But, loves Bangalore more than Delhi!


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