Wise enough to be Foolish by Gauri Jayaram
Wise enough to be Foolish is a story of a woman growing up in middle-class India, working and finding her own identity. And going through a series of relationships, a bad marriage and finally finding her arm candy whom she finally settles down with.
To begin with, I liked the story of an average girl growing up in Army Cantonments, having consistent problems with parents and siblings. Always finding herself in the company of boys. And finally getting motivated to do good by someone she had a crush on. Moves to a hostel in Mumbai where she makes friends. And discovers what we call the ‘cool’ life of a big city. Works in the hospitality industry and enjoys some of the frills that come with it. Goes through a series of bad relationships – and one should never believe a story heard only from one side. Marries someone she actually thought she is having a casual relationship with. Get divorced. And goes wild on a man hunt like a possessed woman. Finally, settles down for someone without even meeting him. And the story stops there with cliché – rest is history.
Wise enough to be Foolish beginning was decent. Capturing the disconnect with her parents, of living in a big city on her own, of discovering the big bad world on her own. But somewhere it became all about the men in her life. And the chase in the end actually made me feel a bit of let down as I was kind of enjoying the story till then. In the end, she made it look like as if it was all about finding a man. And there is no bigger purpose bigger than that in the life of a woman. I have a feeling it was not her intention to say so, but this is how it came out. Incidentally, it is the ending of the book that leaves an after taste for the reader.
Being from travel industry as someone who says who enjoys travel, her only travels mentioned are either official one or the last one to the US to meet a few guys – i.e. when she was on a dating break.
The story begun well but somewhere lost it. Language is nice, informal and conversational that suits well for the first person narration. At best it can be called author’s memoirs with disguised names. Is it an extraordinary journey – nope. Is it a funny, hilarious journey – nope. Can it inspire others – don’t think so.
It is one of those I, me, myself stories that now I am sure is becoming THE genre of this decade. Are we as a generation getting so self-centered that we fail to see anything other than our view – this is something that needs serious pondering?