Book Review: Stilettos in the Newsroom by Rashmi Kumar

Book: Stilettos in the Newsroom

Author: Rashmi Kumar

Publisher: Rupa& Co

Price: Rs 95


Life in a News Room sounds crazy, right? It makes you go particularly mad and gaga when you are new bie who just joined a newspaper and, trust me, you are everybody’s punching bag. This is what Rashmi Kumar tries to decode in her book, ”Stilettos in the Newsroom’. Chick-lit? Why not? Me! A guy reading a rom-com chit lit..well! I loove such books and they are my life.

After reading the first three chapters of the book, I was like, What the fuck and it’s my reality in the newsroom.’ How can my reality can be so close to the character in Rashmi Kumar’s book? My initial, struggling days coupled with fucking up stories as a sub-editor where two stories with different headlines, of course, went on different pages or a brief is run as a story and making a headline going mad with less spacing and adding extra S for saving on Quark Express, the software many newspapers and magazines use. I was like it’s my reality how come it’s so close to my life. I mean, I should be writing this book.

I just reminded myself that I am supposed to do a book review and not share my journalistic experience spanning over three years on the blog space. Well! Rashmi Kumar’s book is something many of us, young journalists, will find an echo with and it’s so fucking close to our reality as media people, hunting for stories, conflicts with sub-editors and vice versa on why we cut stories to make them fit on the page. Rashmi’s writing style is eloquant, downright funny and once you hold this book within your fingers, you will find it difficult to put it down. The character ‘Radhika Kanetkar’ will make you laugh as you share her world, dreaded bosses and the one with the sign of  the devil wearing the Prada and, unabashedly, showing her sex appeal in the newsroom.

If you think that Radhika’s world is just about journalism and its rules, well, think again? It’s about love, relationships and the diaries of a young mind  in a catch 22 situation among an entangled web of writing professionals. Who says, we have it easy in journalism? For sure, we are young guns but we have a tough life as we are as good as our last story or job. Rashmi Kumar is successful in create funny situations that will make you laugh your asses off and she has a way in describing intimate scenes in a simple and deft manner. Stilettos in the Newsroom is something you cannot afford to miss for its dash of humor, relationships fuck up, travails in the newsroom, fighting, squabble with an irritating colleague, friendship, love and what’s not!

What distinguishes Rashmi’s style from others is that she has a unique chatty style to narrate the life of Radhika Kanetkar. Truly, it’s a simple read that will give echo to the life of budding, struggling journalist who find themselves in this bubbly world of  Radhika Kanetkar.

Any minusses from Stilettos in the Newsroom? Well, I loved reading it but the climax came a bit too abrupt and how I wish the novel would have been a bit longer with spicy details in the life of a reporter. Also, it is not necessarily a chick lit with a picture of red Stilettos on the cover which may make alpha males like me stay away but once, you lay your hands on the book, it is a complete page turner.

The book released in 2010 and I read it few days before the end of 2013 which was a quick read, owing to the fact that Stilettos is less than 175 pages. I can find an uncanny resemblance to my life as a reporter and how I fucked up initially. Well! Radhika’s story is my story. I’ve been so influenced by Rashmi Kumar’s novel that I have decided to write an e-novel for the blog this year and tell my story as a sub-editor and reporter. First time, a chick-lit has been an inspiration and I am not ashamed to say so. If you haven’t read Stilettos in the Newsroom and looking for light-hearted humor and quick read, Stilettos is for you. Hope you enjoy the read and you’ll find lotsa hatke journalism rules for the souls.

Concluding Note:

The character Radhika started off in journalism at 27 while I started at 28. She fucked up on headlines, running same stories on different pages and I did the same. Well, the HR has nicely forgotten that he called me to join and was made to wait for the whole day while Radhika’s first the book. I am amazed how many journalists share the same destiny and this novel is a kinda lil bible of fun for me.




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