A novel about women in the army? Sign me up!
When I first started reading the book, I feared that the terms army people regularly use might trip me up and I wouldn’t be able to follow any of it. However, my fears were unfounded and I read the entire book without a single trip to the dictionary.
The novel centres on Deepa Shekhar(Dips) and Anjali Sharma(Anju), two among the first batch of women due to graduate from the army. It is narrated in first-person from Deepa’s point of view. The book chronicles their journey as they negotiate the tricky obstacles in a male-dominated world.
I often wondered about whether the women ever regretted joining the army and this is also touched upon in the book.
Anju, emotionally the weaker of the two, drew my sympathy, as I could completely understand her predicament. Why would any woman welcome the idea of abandoning their feminine side voluntarily, as Dips always prods her to do?
As a team leader myself, I also fully understood Deepa’s logic and reasoning – if you give the troops even a small reason to doubt you, they will do so. Women have to be more firm and deal with matters with a heavier hand, at least in the beginning.
I am in complete awe of the characters in the book as well as real-life women who’re in the army. I’m quite a sissy if you meet me in person, and some of the descriptions of the harsh living conditions left me squirming. I don’t have the guts or the smartness to sign up for that kind of thing.
The book educated me and I am happy to have learned so much about the army as well into the bargain. Recommended read if you, like me, focus more on escapist fiction.
Disclaimer: The author sent me a copy of the book for review.