Writer Smita Das Jain reviews the book Mis(s) Adventures of a Salesgirl by Aashisha Chakraborty.
Navigating the turbulent seas of sales and secrets is not easy, but Aashisha Chakraborthy has managed it with panache in her debut novel the Mis(s) Adventures of a Salesgirl. The tale follows the life of Enakshi Chatterji, a twenty-five-year-old thrust into the fiercely competitive and male-dominated realm of sales in Chennai, a world far removed from her cosmopolitan upbringing in Delhi. Language barriers, gender biases, and a hidden family secret set the stage for a rollercoaster ride through her professional and personal pursuits.
The narrative unfolds in two distinct halves. The first is a slow burn, setting the stage and introducing the challenges Enakshi faces. The pace picks up significantly in the second half, transforming into an emotional page-turner. As Enakshi grapples with the intricacies of her job, her world is further complicated by a troubling family secret that haunts her. Chakraborty deftly weaves this suspenseful thread into the plot, adding depth and drama to the story.
The book sheds a revealing light on the obstacles women encounter in male-dominated professional spheres. Enakshi's journey reflects the reality of battling sexual advances, language barriers, and prevailing stereotypes. However, while the hardships are portrayed authentically, the book somewhat conveniently orchestrates Enakshi's triumphs. The specifics of her rise above these challenges remain somewhat ambiguous, leaving the reader yearning for a deeper understanding of her success.
In terms of narrative elements, the book houses two distinct romantic subplots. The first, though a cliché, is endearing, adding sweetness to the tale. The second, revolving around her mother's past, takes a dramatic and engaging turn, weaving emotions and suspense into the narrative. The dual narrative arcs provide a dynamic and engaging reading experience.
Chakraborty leaves the reader tantalized with an open-ended conclusion, hinting at the potential for a sequel. This leaves room for the imagination to wander, contemplating the future escapades of Enakshi Chatterji.
A standout feature of the book is Chakraborty's eloquence with words. She crafts profound reflections on time and its influence on human interactions, leaving the reader with much to ponder. My favourite line from the book encapsulates this sentiment: "Time, like light, decides the way it moves around people. Sometimes, it moves into a straight line. And at times, it bends around certain obstacles to reach where it wants to reach."
In conclusion, "Mis(s) Adventures of a Salesgirl" provides a glimpse into the demanding world of sales, illuminating the challenges faced by women within it. Aashisha Chakraborty's narrative, though slightly imbalanced in pace, captivates with its dramatic turns and authentic portrayal of a woman's struggle for success in a male-dominated industry. My rating for the book is 4.2/5. It is a stimulating contemporary read, promising intrigue and the hope of future revelations.