The life on an Indian Army Soldier has always been alluring. Whenever I meet someone from army, and he/she recounts their experiences in the Armed Forces, I am always awestruck! And all my thoughts could be surmised in one word – “Wow!”. Recently I read the book “She’s A Jolly Good Fellow” by Sajita Nair that recounts the experiences of two of the first batch of army women. Sajita Nair herself has been a part of the Indian Army, and, I am speculating here, her book seems to be heavily inspired by her own experiences in the Armed Forces.
Deepa Shekhar and Anjali Sharma are the main protagonists of this novel, they join the Indian Army in 1994 as a part of the first batch of women in Indian Army and the book follows their lives, recounts the problems they have to face, their adventures, their romances, and their completely different way of tackling the issues. While Deepa Shekhar wants to be one of the guys, Anjali remains completely feminine.
The book is a very interesting read and gives a unique perspective as to how life is in the army. Although the main focus of the book is on the two ladies and how they cope up, there are very good insights on the life of a soldier – and for me that is what made the book. The pace of the book never slacks off, and the story actually moves forward every few pages unlike some other books that dwell on the beauty of a place/person for many pages. As I have said earlier in this blog, verbosity is not good unless you are an Arthur Hailey 🙂
There was one thing I hated about the book, and it was the sides of the book pages. Remember how in childhood you would scribble your name across the page sides (exactly opposite the binding), so that when you fold the book slightly your name stretches. Similarly the sides of the book have been painted in army colours in this book. For me, who treasures his books, I did not like that a bit. Also, I feel the book could have been shorter – at 300+ pages, it was a long read, although rarely boring.
Addendum: This is a author requested review. Sajita Nair contacted me to review her book.