Book Review: Lady, You're Not A Man! by Apoorva Purohit

Anant Rangaswami shared an image quote on his FB timeline yesterday that said, "Seeing someone read a book you love is seeing a book recommending a person". And of course, you'd want to say 'how true!' It got me thinking about all the times that I carry a book to read on my daily commute or to a cafe when I know I'll have to meet a friend who has the CLS (chronic lateness syndrome) or even on a beach holiday. How do people perceive me when I'm holding a Coetzee's Disgrace, or Mistry's Such a Long Journey or Barsamian's series of interviews with Noam Chomsky or - my latest weight-in-the-bag - Radio City CEO, Apoorva Purohit's new self-help bible Lady, You're Not A Man!.

When I was given this book with the prime motive to review it, I dreaded it right from the start. For several reasons:

1. I don't read self-help, so I'm probably the wrongest person to ask for an opinion
2. The title turned me off
3. It would mean reading and then having to write about the writing

I realise I made the mistake age-old wisdom warns you against - you know what they say about judging a book by it's cover.

Lady,... is an easy-to-read-&-implement sort of book. It's the sort of manual that should be prescribed reading in all graduate schools for women. Having known several managers and now being one myself professionally, it's blatantly clear that Apoorva has implemented her b-school lessons in life quite successfully. As someone who has evolved from, instead of placidly accepting life's lemons, you can quite see how she's made serenely pink lemonade out of them.

I love how she has not, even once, fumbled or mixed up feminist sensibilities in her book and cited several anecdotes in the book to make it most relatable. What makes this book most credible is the little acknowledgements section at the end that lists the women whose anecdotes Apoorva has included in the book. A couple, I happen to have known professionally. And that is what makes the book an interesting read.

Whether you're a daughter, mother, wife, daughter-in-law... intern, noob, mid-level manager or part of the senior leadership at your organization... whatever role(s) you play and/or cherish/ detest, this one's a good go-to. It's like Art Of War decoded for the urban woman in the 21st century. Matter-of-fact, practical and compassionate.

Dedicate your next long train commute to Lady, You're Not A Man!. It's not a bad compensation for losing some cradling sleep.

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