A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
Remember that rebel we have always had among us? Or we found some girl to be a complete badass and she goes against the norms of the society? Sometimes we secretly wished we could do that too… love to be hated. But then as humanely as possible we never try to find out why is it that humans behave in such a manner.
A Girl Like That is a book that takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, personalities, chaos, and whatnot. The book starts with the protagonist, Zarin Wadia, and her friend Porus who is found dead in an accident that occurred in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Tanaz Bhathena does not write the story in a typical chapter wise book but tells us the story characteristically. Zarin Wadia, half Hindu half Parsi is a girl who you wish you had her guts but somewhere along you wish you weren’t in her place.
She plots down an interesting story taking you through the landscapes of Saudi Arabia and then shifting back and forth to dream city Mumbai and finally Saudi Arabia again.
Zarin Wadia has had a very rough childhood. Not only is she an orphan but has a maternal aunt who takes care of her, well almost! She spends some part of her childhood in Mumbai and shifts to Saudi Arabia to escape all those gossips about her mother, as soon as her uncle acquires a position there.
Does she manage to make friends there? Or is she being gossiped about since she has too much of a bold attitude?
There are other interesting characters like Abdullah, Farhan Rizvi, or Mishal who have a battle of their own, and you are drawn to their personalities. You cannot but wish we could all have had a friend like Porus, who plays an important role in Zarin’s life. The book is fast-paced which highlights the way women are treated, sexual assaults, and a bit of violence.
Tanaz pens down this heartbreaking story on gender discrimination, a poignant tale on how it feels not to be accepted by the society just because everybody thinks you are bad or don’t ‘follow’ the rules.
It’s an eye-opening debut by young Bhathena about the ways society restricts, controls, and punishes women and girls.