Stilettos in the Newsroom-BOOK REVIEW

If you asks me what prompted me to but this book, I would say, its unusual title. A brief glance into the synopsis at the back of the book and it seemed to be a perfect read at a time when I was an intern with a fashion magazine. My initial experience with the magazine had given me jitters but the book helped me gain confidence and enjoy, my time as an intern, in a new place and atmosphere.

The book has been penned by a Journalist named Rashmi Kumar. It is her first step into the world of Fiction writing. As a journalist, Rashmi Kumar has written several articles for Business India, the Indian Express and Metro Now. She graduated in English Literature from the Jesus and Mary College, of the Delhi University. Before her fore as a writer, she worked with an NGO for a year. Apart from being a full-time journalist, the author also does a weekly show on  radio.

Her first piece of work as a writer is a memoir of her own experiences as a journalist. It demystifies the happenings in the newsroom and gives the reader an account of the seven years that she has spent working in the field.

‘Stilettos in the Newsroom’ is the story of 28 years old Radhika Kanetkar. Set in the backdrop of Pune, the book showcases interesting glimpses of Radhika’s journey from being a sub-editor to the features editor for a Daily. What makes the book interesting is the fact that the author has presented anecdotes from her own life thus assuring the reader that it is not just a piece of fiction but a piece of reality as well. From being a sub-editor to features editor, the story takes you through triumphs, anguish, jealousy, hatred and love.

Radhika Kanetkar, is someone most readers can identify with. A young bubbly girl, full of life and talent, who does not want to be known simply as one of the many byline writers, rather she wants to chisel a place of her own in the industry. She truly is someone ever young girl would someday want to be. Therefore, all her problems and struggles become your own as you read through the book. With a language simple to comprehend and easy to identify with, Rashmi Kumar, presents the reader with a glimpse of her own career, her struggle to get her own byline published as a young journalist, her experiences at the newsroom and other instances through Radhika.

Like any other story, this one too has a love angle to it and also shows the protagonist’s ability to cope with it. The book also draws  parallel in some sections between Radhika’s  professional and personal life.

What makes this book different is that it is not just any other Media Handbook and yet manages to be one. After every chapter Radhika’s life becomes a rule, a rule that makes you wonder and contemplate. My favourite rule in the is Rule 12, which says, ‘You might be the best but you have to go all out to tell the world that you are the best.’

‘Stilettos in the Newsroom’ is one that wouldn’t kill you of boredom and entertains you every bit. It kept me gripped and absorbed from the beginning till the very end. If you’re a fresh intern or a professional media person or if you not related to this field, the book will still help you identify with every aspect of Radhika’s life and experiences. With woman power on display, ‘Stilettos in the Newsroom’ is my personal favourite.

Giselle Mendes

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