“Every culture has aspects worth celebrating just as they have qualities worth critiquing.”- Ruhi Lee.
I have a special corner for writers of Indian origin. Since I don’t get to read their work so often or as much as I wish to, my heart jumps with great joy every time I hear about their new work. So, quite naturally, I was eagerly waiting to read about Ruhi Lee’s brave memoir (I use the word brave because that’s what it takes to pen down your entire journey with utmost honesty) the moment I heard of it.
I recently finished my copy of ‘Good Indian Daughter’, and I was transported back to multiple places (some of which I wish I didn’t have to go back to). But, I am glad it healed the chapters of my life that I didn’t know needed a balm up until now. So there, thank you, Ruhi.
Ruhi’s journey is anything but ordinary. Growing up in an environment where love comes in unusual (read aggressive) ways, she has to put up with all of it because what was the other option anyway? Lee has made a brief appearance in my dreams while I read her book, and she is very much going to stay in my head for a long time.
This book is a sincere recollection of her relationship with her family (immediate and extended), the culture she grew up in, the toxic workplace, and the trauma she had to face due to not being given a choice and voice. When Ruhi learns about her pregnancy, she chalks a line on how much she wants to expose her child to the people hovering around, and I admire her (and also her super supportive husband) for taking a firm stand and choosing her own way of parenting in oppose to what was being expected of her by the society.
This book isn’t a series to showcase the flip side of culture; this is a powerful attempt to break the cycle and redefine what is right and what isn’t.
The book cover has a tagline that says, ‘How I found freedom in being a disappointment’. But Ruhi, if you’re reading this, I want to tell you that you’re anything but that. Deciding to prioritise your well-being versus a forceful nod to please others is a joy so bloody underrated. So, here’s to the more fabulous mornings. May your new chapter be a much happier version and can help blur all the previous ones.
Good Indian Daughter by Ruhi Lee was published on 25th May 2021 by Affirm Press. You can purchase the book here.
Title: Good Indian Daughter
Author: Ruhi Lee
Publisher: Affirm Press