By Laxmi Hariharan
22 December 2012
“Beware of bad kissers; they might be plagiarists too.” Just one of the home truths you stumble across in the extremely witty, honest-to-earth sexy and very cleverly written Men on My Mind by Radha Thomas. In fact I am convinced that Radha, actually meant for the book to be titled “Men who have nothing on their minds but the pleasure of pleasing me…”—a dialogue I read half way into the book. I haven’t read such a funny, sexy, yet poignant coming-of-age—or for those of us still stuck in our seventeenth year in our heads, that never-gonna-grow-up age—book in a long time. I am firmly a Sex-and-the-City—not so much Girls—kinda gal. I don’t always enjoy chic-flicks—Bridesmaids? Ugh! Yet rom-coms are one of my favorite genres—The Wedding Planner, Sleepless in Seattle… definitely Bridget Jones! In fact give me a cool Harlequin romance over Shudders of Grey any day. You get my drift? And, Men on my Mind, has the best of all the books and programs I love. All told in such a casual, crafty manner that you often marvel at the elasticity of the pen behind the words.
Yet, what jumped out at me is that behind all the smart prose, this story was about a girl who had followed her heart, much like the author I realised. I asked Radha how she had managed to do it? Follow her heart that is, to countries around the world and through the various adventures which followed? (Radha’s bio reads like an around the world in ninety minutes, breathless rush through various countries and islands around the world including leaving on a jet plane for the USA to pursue her dream of being a jazz singer.) Her reply was that it was probably to do with the fact that she didn’t study any professional course, so she simply followed what she was best at—but I realized it was actually more to do with conditioning—or the lack thereof. Grow up with role-models who themselves know the pleasure of being a little out there and perhaps let you just be as a child, and probably you don’t have to chase after the shadow that is the real you for the rest of your lives. (Now I do realize that sometimes kids who grow up with highly bohemian parents do turn out to be the exact opposite too—yet the chances of a flower child having a child who grows up to be an accountant is rather rare.) It never ceases to amaze me, as to how much we owe our thoughts and our approach to life, to general society, and those who we come in contact with in our early years. The mind boggles to realize that the cross of the many generations that lived before us is just ours to bear. But then the protagonist of Men on My Mind had it all figured out in the very first sentence of the book “I was only a little girl when I figured out that what I wanted from life was completely different from what my parents wanted for me.”
What about you? Did you have it all figured out very early in life? Or like me did you figure it out much, much later—perhaps just in time to do something about it before you’ve completely missed the boat of life? Do let me know.
Buy your copy of Men on My Mind here http://ow.ly/gjczX. Also available at all leading bookshops in India.