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Unladylike: A Memoir

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Unladylike is a memoir that spans four decades of the author’s life. From stories about a childhood spent wishing she could change everything about her life (including her parents), to her chronically delayed puberty, and the self-esteem issues that accompany a flat chest, Vaz doesn’t pull any punches. She takes us through her college years, where under the vigilance of Ca Unladylike is a memoir that spans four decades of the author’s life. From stories about a childhood spent wishing she could change everything about her life (including her parents), to her chronically delayed puberty, and the self-esteem issues that accompany a flat chest, Vaz doesn’t pull any punches. She takes us through her college years, where under the vigilance of Catholic nuns she grappled with a major decision—to have or not have pre-marital sex as well as the discovery that the female body is capable of some very strange sounds at very inappropriate times. Out of respect for various ex-boyfriends, she will dwell on just one man—her wheat-eating, milk-drinking Jat husband. From their extra-long courtship (that he didn’t tell his mother about), to their wedding day and beyond, there are lessons for every girl who has ever thought ‘one day I’d like to be married’. The lesson is: ‘Don’t say you weren’t warned’


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Unladylike is a memoir that spans four decades of the author’s life. From stories about a childhood spent wishing she could change everything about her life (including her parents), to her chronically delayed puberty, and the self-esteem issues that accompany a flat chest, Vaz doesn’t pull any punches. She takes us through her college years, where under the vigilance of Ca Unladylike is a memoir that spans four decades of the author’s life. From stories about a childhood spent wishing she could change everything about her life (including her parents), to her chronically delayed puberty, and the self-esteem issues that accompany a flat chest, Vaz doesn’t pull any punches. She takes us through her college years, where under the vigilance of Catholic nuns she grappled with a major decision—to have or not have pre-marital sex as well as the discovery that the female body is capable of some very strange sounds at very inappropriate times. Out of respect for various ex-boyfriends, she will dwell on just one man—her wheat-eating, milk-drinking Jat husband. From their extra-long courtship (that he didn’t tell his mother about), to their wedding day and beyond, there are lessons for every girl who has ever thought ‘one day I’d like to be married’. The lesson is: ‘Don’t say you weren’t warned’

30 review for Unladylike: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tamishly

    One of the best memoirs I have read so far. The book is divided into 5 sections: 1) The Wonder Years Talks about childhood days, the feeling of wanting to belong, discovering friends 2) I Think I May Be A Woman This title itself speaks a lot! Being grown up as someone really different, keeping things to herself most of the time - the author talks about growing up, becoming a woman, in a really frank manner while instilling in each and every sentence with effortless humour👍 *Talks fondly about having a One of the best memoirs I have read so far. The book is divided into 5 sections: 1) The Wonder Years Talks about childhood days, the feeling of wanting to belong, discovering friends 2) I Think I May Be A Woman This title itself speaks a lot! Being grown up as someone really different, keeping things to herself most of the time - the author talks about growing up, becoming a woman, in a really frank manner while instilling in each and every sentence with effortless humour👍 *Talks fondly about having a person who is encouraging and there for her *Getting kicked out of school, speaking up against favouritism & 'ass-kissing' *Exploring new things as one grows up *The frank content on virginity *And on getting drunk 3) Roaring Twenties Her thoughts on marriage, being single & being desperate 4) Hello 'merica' *Getting settled in America after marriage *The differences she keeps noticing while living there *The life of doing a job as well as being a student *Getting married! 5) Marriage and It's Aftermath *The days after marriage, what is expected & what happens after marriage This memoir is a complete package of entertainment, fun, humour with cringing, embarrassing moments written in a way that makes the reader feel like our lives are so mundane in comparison! A totally humorous read yet the realities of life clearly portrayed One memoir that talks honest; a person talking of her own self as someone who has no reasons to give explanations on why Radhika Vaz is Radhika Vaz!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Malvika

    Radhika Vaz is a funny woman and this reflects even in her book. I did laugh out loud at her musings about childhood and puberty, but that was the end of it. The second half of the book, the one where she as an adult is going on and on about the boy she loves, is a drag. I would have loved to read (I wish I could say 'read more' here, but she doesn't even touch this subject) about her journey as a female stand-up comedian. But I guess one has the liberty to talk about what one wants in their mem Radhika Vaz is a funny woman and this reflects even in her book. I did laugh out loud at her musings about childhood and puberty, but that was the end of it. The second half of the book, the one where she as an adult is going on and on about the boy she loves, is a drag. I would have loved to read (I wish I could say 'read more' here, but she doesn't even touch this subject) about her journey as a female stand-up comedian. But I guess one has the liberty to talk about what one wants in their memoir. Maybe Vaz wanted to talk about this. Maybe she has another book planned, only to talk about this. If she does, I would love to read it. If she doesn't, well, I hope she changes her mind.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nithesh S

    This was a book I received as part of BYOB's (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...) giveaway. I had only heard about this book but never intended to read it. Now that it had fallen on my desk , that too as a gift, I finally started reading it. The first half of the book till the author meets her guy is funny and interesting. But the second half that speaks about her US life and rants on motherhood drags the narrative to some extent. It does have an overall hilarious tone, that I like it. A ' This was a book I received as part of BYOB's (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...) giveaway. I had only heard about this book but never intended to read it. Now that it had fallen on my desk , that too as a gift, I finally started reading it. The first half of the book till the author meets her guy is funny and interesting. But the second half that speaks about her US life and rants on motherhood drags the narrative to some extent. It does have an overall hilarious tone, that I like it. A ' good read ' but not something that I would call a ' must read ' .

  4. 4 out of 5

    Girish

    A presumptive standup comedy script made into a pointless book. Note: I loved books like Bossypants and Mrs.Funnybones which had a similar tone but forward thinking and non-condesending - so I am sure this is just the book. If Radhika was trying to be George Carlin (feminist bait) by hating everything or have a "whatever" attitude to her life highlights - that's her choice. But trying to make her memoir seem like an observational comedy is a tad sad. The book did deal with some real scenarios lik A presumptive standup comedy script made into a pointless book. Note: I loved books like Bossypants and Mrs.Funnybones which had a similar tone but forward thinking and non-condesending - so I am sure this is just the book. If Radhika was trying to be George Carlin (feminist bait) by hating everything or have a "whatever" attitude to her life highlights - that's her choice. But trying to make her memoir seem like an observational comedy is a tad sad. The book did deal with some real scenarios like societal pressures and green card anxieties - but then the book ends up making them into scenes. Right from the title, the book has an air of trying to suggest the author is stand-out in some way. For someone known to be a feminist the book shows someone who is desperate for approval and needy. The episodes, though, are sort of predictable and some observation quite humorous. It is structured in disjoint chapters (ready for youtube video) that have been put together chronologically. Give it a pass and watch a Prime episode of Comicstaan and you may get a few more laughs!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anil Swarup

    This is one of those forgettable books that could have been easily avoided . It is an autobiography of a person who chose to be different but there isn't anything unusual about the book that keeps you interested in the narration. This is one of those forgettable books that could have been easily avoided . It is an autobiography of a person who chose to be different but there isn't anything unusual about the book that keeps you interested in the narration.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nidhi Srivastava

    I surprised myself by actually finishing this book. First of all, I've wanted to read this book ever since it came out two years ago. A female comic? Yeah! A female INDIAN comic?? YEAH! That said, if you're expecting an Amy Schumer-like rickrolling confessional, you're set up for disappointment. If you want an inside look at the world of comedy, you're in for a shock - Vaz does not even touch upon that part of her life until the epilogue. In fact, it's best if you don't have any expectations going I surprised myself by actually finishing this book. First of all, I've wanted to read this book ever since it came out two years ago. A female comic? Yeah! A female INDIAN comic?? YEAH! That said, if you're expecting an Amy Schumer-like rickrolling confessional, you're set up for disappointment. If you want an inside look at the world of comedy, you're in for a shock - Vaz does not even touch upon that part of her life until the epilogue. In fact, it's best if you don't have any expectations going into this memoir at all. What I've noticed is that different readers ended with vastly different takeaways from this book. The reviews from my friends led me to believe I would enjoy the first half of the book, but the second part would drag. To my surprise, I actually liked the second half more than the first. It depends on what your own experience has been, and what stage of life you're at right now. Vaz's writing is easy to read, but a bit hyperbolic. I understand the style would work well on stage, but on paper, it just doesn't take. Some of the "facts" about her life felt made up, so desperate her attempts were to humour them up. I don't know how to end this review. Keep an open mind, I guess, and you might enjoy parts of the book. Don't expect to enjoy the book as a whole.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Radhika Vaz is a stand-up comedian and a performer, and this book covers a lot of material in her one-woman show, by her own admission. I laughed out loud thrice during the entire book, but stand by the fact that the reader is left with no sense of who Vaz is today, what she truly believes in, what’s affected her and changed her or who she has morphed into in the time period covered within her memoir. I found her description of her Third Culture Kid childhood and her adolescence interesting, but Radhika Vaz is a stand-up comedian and a performer, and this book covers a lot of material in her one-woman show, by her own admission. I laughed out loud thrice during the entire book, but stand by the fact that the reader is left with no sense of who Vaz is today, what she truly believes in, what’s affected her and changed her or who she has morphed into in the time period covered within her memoir. I found her description of her Third Culture Kid childhood and her adolescence interesting, but apart from that I thought her memoir fell flat and was not unique or remarkable in any way. Throughout the book her tone seems apologetic about who she is, what she thinks and most of the events that have defined her self-proclaimed, middle-class, yuppie Indian-American identity. Perhaps this is more about ‘tone of voice’ than anything else. But, there’s no depth or apparent reflection into any of her own attitudes, behaviors, choices etc. – perhaps that’s the limitation of a memoir – it can end up being more about a timeline of events than introspection of any kind. Additionally, if she’s trying to be feminist, she’s coming pretty late to the game. Feminism isn’t about coming to terms with and speaking out loud about body hair or 'pussy farts'. And honestly, this would probably be more amusing in her one-woman show but the description fell flat in this memoir. The last third of her book reads like she’s trying to justify to herself, more than others, her lack of the motherhood instinct. I’ve just finished reading essays by 16 writers who have become consciously childless and tackle what Radhika tries to with much more depth, honesty and self-awareness than Vaz does. Again, no new insights here to share. There is no sense of the characters in her life and what part they have paid (other than a brief mention in acknowledgements where she thanks them for being there for her). For example, she portrayed her boyfriend Thaks with such indifference and ambivalence that I was surprised to find out that she married him. I’m happy that Vaz has strong friendships, weird parents she loves, a career as a successful comedian, but she only writes these thing, she doesn't show them. I have no overall impression of her journey along the way being anything more than a series of mishaps and lucky turns that Vaz portrays as undeserved and unanticipated (whether they are or not), while she invites us to her pity party of being a privileged Indian immigrant to USA (no matter how she tries to portray it). It’s evident that her editor played a crucial role is helping her weed out a lot of material and in developing a structure, and the writing is better for it. It’s always a challenge to set down to write one’s life story let alone get it into publishable form, so I applaud the attempt and read it as a successful venture into taking the next step to develop herself as a brand and self-promote her stand-up comedy. A crucial part of her life, her evolution into stand-up comedy, is also missing from this book unless you count the bit at the end that seems to be an afterthought. Perhaps it will form Part 2 of her memoir. Read this book if you want to glean more about some of the facts of her life and the series of steps she took to get to where she is now, but don’t expect any pithy, holistic revelations or insights into the person.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ravikiran B A

    "Marina Romashko my idea coach, you were the first person who told me to write a book. ‘It does not have to be great’ was the encouraging way in which you put it. This is not-great book is pretty much your fault." These opening lines from the acknowledgement ought to have been put in the Introduction section. At least that way, people wouldn't expect too much from the book. I love stand up comedians, and I'm usually eager to watch or listen to them, so, whenever one writes a memoir, I'd expect t "Marina Romashko my idea coach, you were the first person who told me to write a book. ‘It does not have to be great’ was the encouraging way in which you put it. This is not-great book is pretty much your fault." These opening lines from the acknowledgement ought to have been put in the Introduction section. At least that way, people wouldn't expect too much from the book. I love stand up comedians, and I'm usually eager to watch or listen to them, so, whenever one writes a memoir, I'd expect them to be funny - like, hilarious enough to make me giggle unexpectedly in public, encouraging awkward stares from others. But I've learned that this doesn't happen as often as one would expect. Many brilliant comedians fall flat when it comes to delivering their humour in a written format. Don't get me wrong - I think Vaz is hilarious during her stand-up routines. The book, however, left me feeling vaguely bored in parts. Though I'll admit quite a few chapters had me nodding my head along with her - specially the parts where Vaz talks about Indian students in the US. I like to consider myself a feminist, and being non-prudish , the chapters where Vaz talks about sex, puberty, menstruation or queefs didn't bother me - and I'm pretty sure it might turn some readers off. What I did love was Vaz's self-deprecating humor, and tales of her attempts to exercise her feminist ideals in a Jat household. All in all, not a terrible read - though I'm pretty sure I might have enjoyed it much more as an audio book, preferably read by Vaz herself.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abeer Hoque

    “I have a face for wigs. Any wig, no matter what style or colour, looks like my natural hair. What can I tell you? We all have gifts. These are mine.” I had the utter treat of listening to Radhika Vaz’s standup routine at festival in Goa, just before eagerly buying her new memoir, Unladylike. I read it in one day and because her voice was still so present in my head, it was like listening to her talk. Her writing is easy, affable, witty, and hilarious - just like her comedy, and as an unladylike “I have a face for wigs. Any wig, no matter what style or colour, looks like my natural hair. What can I tell you? We all have gifts. These are mine.” I had the utter treat of listening to Radhika Vaz’s standup routine at festival in Goa, just before eagerly buying her new memoir, Unladylike. I read it in one day and because her voice was still so present in my head, it was like listening to her talk. Her writing is easy, affable, witty, and hilarious - just like her comedy, and as an unladylike feminist myself, I highly appreciate her place in the world, and particularly in India/South Asia, where the taboos about talking about sex and bodies and relationships and so on are a bit on the heavy side. Ms. Vaz articulates so much of what I’ve thought or wondered about over the years, and much that I haven’t, all in her signature self-deprecating style: from virginity and vaginas to belonging and migration to marriage and family. I especially enjoyed the childhood and boarding school chapters. The chapters set in America felt slightly drawn out (though no less easy to read), but then it bounces back in the end with some hilarious female-centric humour about marriage and relationships. I read a paper copy of this book so I don’t have many quotes picked out, but trust me, the book is full of situational humour and great one-liners. Go, you unladies and those who love them, get yourself a copy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vedant Patil

    Feminist women generally scare me. So when I was told that Vaz is a feminist, reading her memoir was not something I was really looking forward to. But then I was also told that she is a stand-up comedian, so why not? Right from her weird parents, wanna-be childhood, workplace annoyances and dreamy dreamy fantasies to her love life insecurities and her vagina farts (seriously?), Vaz writes candidly about everything her life is. And the element of laid back self-depreciating humor just makes it be Feminist women generally scare me. So when I was told that Vaz is a feminist, reading her memoir was not something I was really looking forward to. But then I was also told that she is a stand-up comedian, so why not? Right from her weird parents, wanna-be childhood, workplace annoyances and dreamy dreamy fantasies to her love life insecurities and her vagina farts (seriously?), Vaz writes candidly about everything her life is. And the element of laid back self-depreciating humor just makes it better. At times it gets annoying though. But that's just a thing about candid writing. It tends to turn annoying when it doesn't conform. Vaz seems to be person full of life so it's definitely worth a read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shabana Mukhtar

    I have always liked her articles in TOI (Times Of India). Those articles are short, funny and oh-so-blunt. As is the book. But I felt that it is too much of her. I mean, I like her writing but reading a complete book is sort of too much. Some of the sentences are too funny and painful at the same time. I will update the review when I get time to copy over the content.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Manjri Gopalan

    Radhika Vaz's Memoir - Unladylike was an interesting read. Actually I was reading Mr. Rishi Kapoor's Khullam Khulla before starting Unladylike. And I was so badly disappointed and frustrated that I left that book mid way. So honestly, when I started Unladylike, my expectation was very low and I thought anything would outperform Khullam Khulla :) I must say Unladylike did not disappoint me. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I liked Radhika's witty, sharp and outspoken attitude. There were a few funny Radhika Vaz's Memoir - Unladylike was an interesting read. Actually I was reading Mr. Rishi Kapoor's Khullam Khulla before starting Unladylike. And I was so badly disappointed and frustrated that I left that book mid way. So honestly, when I started Unladylike, my expectation was very low and I thought anything would outperform Khullam Khulla :) I must say Unladylike did not disappoint me. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I liked Radhika's witty, sharp and outspoken attitude. There were a few funny instances which made me laugh out loud. The US Visa episode was one of them. I admired her Bindas/bold/independent attitude. But at the same time there were few instances that were hard to believe, as Radhika was talking of an era (1980s and 1990s), when a lot of Indian women were struggling to break free from our traditional constraints. In the later part of the book, when Radhika moves to the "US of A", there was a dip in the narrative. Radikha very conveniently skipped details on her episode with Thaks. The person for whom she left India, took a decision to leave behind her family and friends and go to a stranger's land, took the pain of writing GRE, etc... I understand that Radhika would not have liked to share details on her personal/ sexual life. But it was pertinent to elaborate on how she met Thaks in US, how they moved in together, did he ever confess his love to her, what made Thaks change his mind to get married to Radhika??? These things were not clear :( But as I said before, Unladylike was an interesting read and did not disappoint me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sonam Dubey

    In start and middle the book was amazing and interesting. Last parts of the book were a little boring and hence a 4 star otherwise it deserves to be a 5! Especially how the author describes his first time in America is fun to read and who can miss her childhood days those were unique!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vaishali Gupta

    It started of nice but ended at a very weird point and without any proper conclusion.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shubham Shetty

    Extremely funny, especially the first half!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Preethi

    I've been following the work of the author for a couple of years now, the articles she writes in the newspapers off and on and the articles about her. I've liked her, and I knew I was going to like the book too. In fact, I wanted to like this book, honestly. I can say I liked this book, but it kinda disappointed me in the literature aspect. At various points during the book I felt it was dragging along with way too much detail being given and it was done not in a way to keep the reader engrossed I've been following the work of the author for a couple of years now, the articles she writes in the newspapers off and on and the articles about her. I've liked her, and I knew I was going to like the book too. In fact, I wanted to like this book, honestly. I can say I liked this book, but it kinda disappointed me in the literature aspect. At various points during the book I felt it was dragging along with way too much detail being given and it was done not in a way to keep the reader engrossed. And at various other points, I felt that the author was either trying to make a joke, but couldn't close the deal there, coz I didn't really chuckle at the areas where the author clearly was hoping the reader would. I did like every section in this book though, for the feminist sentiment in them, and how the author raises them in the book. This is what kept me going and why I even finished the book. I'd give this a 3.5 stars.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ravi Bedi

    Apart from being outrageously hilarious and incredibly bold, ‘Unladylike’ is indeed that, but an honest portrayal of a girl’s growing up years by a lady who has the guts to talk about things thus far confined to the ladies toilet. Her sense of humor, witticism, and unique style deserve nothing short of a standing ovation. I would read it a second…and perhaps a third time, for the sheer joy of her diction and style. However, the later half, in my humble opinion, lacked that punch. The author could Apart from being outrageously hilarious and incredibly bold, ‘Unladylike’ is indeed that, but an honest portrayal of a girl’s growing up years by a lady who has the guts to talk about things thus far confined to the ladies toilet. Her sense of humor, witticism, and unique style deserve nothing short of a standing ovation. I would read it a second…and perhaps a third time, for the sheer joy of her diction and style. However, the later half, in my humble opinion, lacked that punch. The author could afford to have been a little more economical in covering that part. Nonetheless, it is one book without which a bookshelf would look poorer. Although I read it on my Kindle, I’m ordering the print version straightaway instead of wasting my money on a lot of trash. I wish I could give it ten stars.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Akhila Nasina

    This was my second trial at a memoir. I regret not putting much focus on the genre earlier. This was definitely a fun ride. There were numerous irresistible one liners. And I instantaneously got addicted to the satirical portrayal of the Indian culture. I would've loved a much more elaborate account of the author's different life phases. The only other thing that bugged me was that the author doesn't provide us with any account of her current life except a faint hint in the acknowledgments. Overall This was my second trial at a memoir. I regret not putting much focus on the genre earlier. This was definitely a fun ride. There were numerous irresistible one liners. And I instantaneously got addicted to the satirical portrayal of the Indian culture. I would've loved a much more elaborate account of the author's different life phases. The only other thing that bugged me was that the author doesn't provide us with any account of her current life except a faint hint in the acknowledgments. Overall, the book was a realistic bumpy ride with all its ups and downs. It is a must read for anyone with the likes of satirical comedy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Diwita Mathivanan

    It's a fun read. She could get preachy if she wanted but she just lets the reader take an idea or suggestion or advice from her experiences IF they want to! The feminist tendencies are so subtle. It's rather elegant and funny :) It's a fun read. She could get preachy if she wanted but she just lets the reader take an idea or suggestion or advice from her experiences IF they want to! The feminist tendencies are so subtle. It's rather elegant and funny :)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anupama

    Vaz is hilarious! The book started off really well and her childhood and growing up years are full of humour. When adulthood sets in it gets a tad serious but nonetheless she continues to be funny. I am guessing she's more fun to watch live. Vaz is hilarious! The book started off really well and her childhood and growing up years are full of humour. When adulthood sets in it gets a tad serious but nonetheless she continues to be funny. I am guessing she's more fun to watch live.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stuti

    Overall an average book Meant to be a memoir of confident, modern Indian woman breaking free of stereotypes, but sometimes, it comes across as i-am-better-than-everyone feel! Otherwise a good read!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bulbul

    Hilarious. I love her. Sooooooooo funny. Must read for all sensible and independent women.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Selva

    A fast read and funny without being over the top !

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vaishnavi

    Well written. Laugh out loud quite often. Occasionally a little dragging. A fun ride in all. Definitely recommend it!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aravind

    This one is a funny, fast paced memoir by a female comedian. Though it is not the kind of book I feel like reading, I am glad that I did read it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nirwa Mehta

    It was interesting, but not sure why I read memoirs of someone I had never heard of before. Ah, well.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anuradha Gupta

    I am a 90s kid. I entered my teenage in the early 2000s and probably belong to the last/second last generation of kids who know what “Vish-Amrit” means, even in their teens. I didn’t have access to a personal mobile or an internet connection until I was in college. That was 2009. I grew up almost with the same facilities as the kids a decade older than me, maybe just a little more. I was never the wild kinda kid, and I didn’t turn out to be a wild kinda girl. In fact, when I think of it now, my I am a 90s kid. I entered my teenage in the early 2000s and probably belong to the last/second last generation of kids who know what “Vish-Amrit” means, even in their teens. I didn’t have access to a personal mobile or an internet connection until I was in college. That was 2009. I grew up almost with the same facilities as the kids a decade older than me, maybe just a little more. I was never the wild kinda kid, and I didn’t turn out to be a wild kinda girl. In fact, when I think of it now, my type of “traditional” people don’t belong in the 90s or 80s for that matter, but farther in the 50s or 60s. Why do I say so? Because there is always someone amongst us who make us feel that way. One such person is Radhika Vaz. How do I know her? The great Amazon India introduced us under the category of “Books that might interest you” and “Books under sale” So needless to say, she ended up in my home, and a couple of months later in my hands. Unladylike by Radhika Vaz is a memoir of the author, giving us a brief peek into her life. From an unpampered single child to be one of the most hilarious comediennes, Radhika has a lot to offer. A product of mixed breeding, Radhika Vaz is the only child of her parents. Being the daughter of a man who worked for the air force, she spent a substantial amount of time being transferred to different cities until her parents realized the loss of her schooling and enrolled her at a boarding school. Being between girls, big/small/large/tiny/ugly/beautiful and all the other adjectives, 24/7, it wasn’t long enough before Vaz started feeling inferiority complex about as trivial a thing as not getting her periods when most of her peers did. Such pressures coupled with being away from home for the better part of the year didn’t let her have a buddy relationship with her parents. She, however, does share buddy relationships with her buddies. With a low paying job and weekend partying, waltzing through her life was never Vaz’s idea, but what she didn’t know was that she would be barely able to stand in the ballroom of love unless she took matters into her own hands. So when her longtime boyfriend doesn’t seem interested in taking their relationship further, she takes the onus on herself to coax him into an official commitment for which she changes countries and citizenship! Talk about “Saat samundar paar mai tere peeche peeche aa gai…” Vaz gives insights into her life in installments, little snippets from her childhood, adolescence, and youth going on to middle age, I believe there is a lot more unsaid than what has been said. The first thought that came into my mind when I turned over the last page - wannabe. The story wasn’t something new or life-changing, but a regular one that could have been the plot of one of the numerous Bollywood films that are made on a girl chasing her dreams. The writing was good and the language was the same which one could use to talk to others like Vaz does in her shows. By the way, have you ever seen Vaz’s stand up? However, I found it quite weird when she quoted/talked about the past in the same language as the present which definitely couldn’t have happened considering the evolution of Indian English (slangs included) only took place in recent times. So, what does unladylike mean? As per the author, she is unladylike because she falls more towards the masculine side than the feminine. Not only she attributes her physical features to be closer to men, at times even wondering if she was a man in a woman’s body, but also her behavior. And here comes the catch, her thoughts though, are as feminine as a Hugh Hefner’s Playboy bunny. I say this specifically for her early years of life, the teens and the 20s. From obsessing over the delayed onset of her monthly cycles to lunging at the first opportunity of romantic proposal, from worrying about her petite breasts to wanting to marry just because others should think she is happily committed, Vaz’s idea of unladylike is only limited to her exterior. Deep down, I believe, she was just as much a lady as we all were at that age. Radhika’s life definitely offers good laughs for us, but what it also offers is advice. Advice to women, young and old, to smash that patriarchy, unabashedly. When you have dreams, go out there and chase them, for prince charming on a white horse is the talk of yesterday.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chandan Kumar

    I haven't really watched Radhika Vaz's stand up comedy before, but the book, at least the first 100 pages or so do fetch a few good laughs. And there this book's merits ends. Unladylike has managed to get some good media coverage. I picked it mainly because (according to Radhika Vaz's own claims) she is widely recognized as this generation's feminist voice. And one should listen to all voices. [But unfortunately and fortunately, she is Not.] Radhika Vaz's idea of feminism seem to be in aping rowdy I haven't really watched Radhika Vaz's stand up comedy before, but the book, at least the first 100 pages or so do fetch a few good laughs. And there this book's merits ends. Unladylike has managed to get some good media coverage. I picked it mainly because (according to Radhika Vaz's own claims) she is widely recognized as this generation's feminist voice. And one should listen to all voices. [But unfortunately and fortunately, she is Not.] Radhika Vaz's idea of feminism seem to be in aping rowdy, cheap, aimless, meaningless existence of characteress male characters; none of whom deserve my respect. Too many airs, and a high sense of entitlement, and nothing else. This is sad. Since when has wasting time and living a purposeless life become an ideal of feminism? Calling this book feminist is actually putting to shame all the great women who have climbed the ladders of success in spite of facing gender discrimination. Radhika Vaz's own experience of discrimination seems to be limited to her taking lift from "male" boyfriends for getting dropped to home at 3 am after taking 6 rounds of whisky at parties hosted by "male" boyfriends. Her point of view is so irritating at times. She feels that having a child at all in marriage should be the wife's decision alone and the husband's feelings for having a family for that matter can go to hell. And according to her, men want to have children solely because they are insecure etc etc. A wasted evening. Read it only if you are fan of her wit, or want to tune into what she so proudly claims (and is not) this generation's feminist voice. 2/5

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tats

    I had never heard about Rhadika Vaz but was drawn to her book by the cover image of the author beaming confidently at the reader, the bold title and the interesting blurp all of which convinced me that I was in for a hilarious story about how Rhadika Vaz became the outspoken feminist powerhouse of a woman she is today. Not sure what I exactly expected but I think it can be summarized with "more". While the memoir has many funny and even laugh-out-loud moments, there were a few things I found out I had never heard about Rhadika Vaz but was drawn to her book by the cover image of the author beaming confidently at the reader, the bold title and the interesting blurp all of which convinced me that I was in for a hilarious story about how Rhadika Vaz became the outspoken feminist powerhouse of a woman she is today. Not sure what I exactly expected but I think it can be summarized with "more". While the memoir has many funny and even laugh-out-loud moments, there were a few things I found out of place, two of which bothered me most. First of all, while I appreciate honesty in a memoir, I don't think bragging about spending each weekend completely sloshed is necessary. Don't hide it, but no need to celebrate it. Secondly, what was the key take-away from this memoir supposed to be? It seemed plot lines began, were dropped and picked up much later if at all. E.g. Ms Vaz describes at length how she invest a lot of time and money to reunite with her boyfriend in the US. However, the reader never learns how said boyfriend reacts to those news, or how or when the reunion actually takes place. Most of all however, I missed more on how Ms Vaz went from a girl who wanted to become a blond beauty-pageant winner who just wanted to get married, to a outspoken, feminist comedian. Some of those questions were slightly touched upon in the 4,5 page epilogue which became the highlight of the book for me and I wish there had been more of it. A read for die-hard Rhadika Vaz fans who want to learn more about her childhood and coming-of-age.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bookspied

    Unladylike by Radhika Vaz was a very unplanned, unknown and sudden decision I made.Those who say they don’t pick a book judging it by its cover, are not my friends. I guess I spend more time surfing on amazon than I spend on social media and I thank amazon for throwing this little gem in my way. The book is a memoir of the author in basically 4 parts talking about her life and thoughts in her 40 years of trying (rather failing at) to be a lady. It was my very first attempt at memoirs and gosh!! W Unladylike by Radhika Vaz was a very unplanned, unknown and sudden decision I made.Those who say they don’t pick a book judging it by its cover, are not my friends. I guess I spend more time surfing on amazon than I spend on social media and I thank amazon for throwing this little gem in my way. The book is a memoir of the author in basically 4 parts talking about her life and thoughts in her 40 years of trying (rather failing at) to be a lady. It was my very first attempt at memoirs and gosh!! What a book!! Whaaaat a book!! Her writing is not monotonous and a definite thumbs up for someone looking for a nice, refreshing, small but effective, light read. I could have finished it in a day, but I just couldn’t let vaz leave my hand because, ohh!! Her company is just everything you need after a long hectic day at the office. The book is full of nice one liners. You could actually feel Vaz talking to your head. I don’t think I am ever going to leave this book anywhere. I can still go back to it in times I feel low or need to feel that there is someone who speaks her mind the way that can make your mind smile. Pick it up if you need to feel relaxed. Have a light read. This non fiction is better than the fiction you are being served lately.

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