Book Source: Author
Media plays an all important role in today's world. Each person is indebted to news in TV, internet, news paper and many other sources in forming their ideas, making their choices. So naturally we all will have a curiosity to know what goes inside a newsroom. Rashmi Kumar's debut novel, Stilettos in the Newsroom tries to give an inside view into the operation of newsrooms. As the author is a journalist having first hand experience of the plot, the reader expects a lot of whistle blowing, which the book provides to some extent.
Radhika Kanetkar, enters the magical world of journalism as a rookie subeditor, in a Pune newspaper. After eight years, she has become a features editor in a Delhi based journal. The book chronicles the journey of eight years, laden with friendship, love, jealousy, hatred and office politics. A whole lot of characters who plays important roles in Radhika's life, positively and negatively are introduced. Each chapter deals with a new lesson learnt to survive in the whirlpool.
The novel is simple, straight forward, short and immensely readable. Any reader who has worked in a corporate office can identify with the protagonist, as she fights an every day battle to stay up in work. The love life of the lady is very subtly revealed, without falling into the pit of sentimentalism which is primarily associated with the stuff. The language is easy to follow and identifiable to the upper middle class urban youth, whom I feel, the novel is targeted. The incidences described are of a varied and contrasting hue- funny, sad, revolting, romantic...
On negative sides, the novel has a very loose plot. It follows a non linear time line sometimes, which is not handled as effectively as required and may baffle readers. Many a times, I do not feel much for the characters except the lead one. Also, as the story takes place in a newsroom, you expect some uniqueness of the place to crop up in the novel. But after reading the novel, one has a feel that the newsroom is not much dissimilar from a regular office, although as I told before, it helps us to identify with the struggle of Radhika. I would say, a much more tight plot, an in-depth characterization and an extra 150 pages would not have harmed the book in any way.