She Walks She Leads

She Walks She Leads by Gunjan Jain

life stories of women who have achieved great!
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Book – SHe Walks She Leads 

Author – Gunjan Jain 

Publisher – Penguin Random House India (2016)

Page Numbers – 584

Reviewed by – Alok Mishra

The first look and I understood this book was ‘something special’ and I was not a fool thinking that. She Walks She Leads by Gunjan Jain is an ‘elite book’ with reviews from the ‘big guns’ of India – Ambanis, Birlas, Muthys, Subhash Chandra and likes of Shashi Tharoor. Just a rough look at them on the blurb of back side of the book cover will enthral you and compel you to read this book. Well, that said, the book, a voluminous indeed, has a lot to offer! As it promises, it offers you some inspiration, no doubt. However, if there is so much bright about the book by Gunjan, I certainly have some reservations. Let’s get into the book.

Gunjan Jain, the author, has studied in ‘five countries, including three continents’. That is remarkable in itself. She has based her books on the ‘achievements’ of women who have come to the fore and led their life in an exemplary fashion. There is so much talk about women leadership these days and I find Ginjan’s book another great addition to the league! She has reserved spaces for Nita Ambani, Priyanka Chopra, Sania Mirza, Marry Kom, Chanda Kochhar, Saina Nehwal and many other ‘tall’ names from different walks of life. Yes, I forgot, Kareena Kapoor Khan!

she walks she leads reviewTechnically, if you scrutinize, Gunjan has retold the stories of all these great achievers. She has also fused her commentary so that the readers get to know the life of the ‘women’ being talked better. For instance, I would like to quote:

“… Early into our meeting, I realise that Sudha is curious and astute, albeit polite.” P.56

Other than her personal point of views, Gunjan has also tried to bring out the most about the person whom she is talking about through a third person’s view. She has presented the interviews with many people to support the life stories of most of the women in the book. Well, I like this idea, too.

However, who are the real achiever women of India? Is it Alia Bhatt and Priyanka Chopra who are sitting in their ivory towers (also being the branches of a dynasty in the Bollywood) or is it someone like Santosh Devi who, despite her ignorance about the glamorous world of sizzling gossips, is providing electricity through her entrepreneur mind to thousands of villagers in a remote rural area of Rajasthan? (The Guardian, June 24, 2011)

This is a question that pinched me because when I looked at the lavish cover and price of the book (800 INR), I was thinking to have a look at some of the women achiever from rural India, from the dalit class or even the middle class, and they are in plenty! However, I was taken back to glimmering Mumbai and other ‘grand cities’ of India in the grand ‘families’. They are also achievers, walkers and leaders who lead in the oblivion! Nevertheless, these are my personal opinions and I thought it would be better to tell what I was expecting (at least, in a small percentage) from the book.

To conclude my remarks, I would say the book is a worth read if you want to understand the life events and the struggle behind the success of likes of Marry Kom, Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza. Along with others like Nita and Chanda, who have been truly doing service in many areas of life.