These days I have come across a lot of stuff on literature for the female species - colloquially known as "Chick-Lit". This particular genre, is targeted I believe at urban girls between the ages of 25-35, working professionals, independent and all that jazz.
I suppose, I qualify.
But somehow I have never clambered onto chick-lit bandwagon. I have read a couple of the Candace Bushnell books ( the Mother of all Chick Litterateurs, The Fashionista-book Goddess, the One-who-started-it-all-with-Sex-and-the-city etcetera etcetera) and even sneakingly enjoyed the "Devil Wears Prada". But I don't think I can call myself an aficionado of the genre.
Maybe its because of the fact that there is too much fashion in it (and I really wouldn't know the difference between Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik. Heck, I hadn't even heard of them until I had do some work in the category a couple of years ago), too many stilettos..and uhm..I am rather coordination challenged. (As the hero wouldn't hesitate to point out - I must be the only
female in the universe who managed to fall off a stationary Exercycle. For the record, I did NOT! (whatever he may say hmpf)-. But the fact remains, walking around on stilettos would be a bit of a Hazardous-to-health activity) and well, chick lit has a LOT of alpha females (alpha types scare the shit out of me in real life, and in books).
Which is the reason I haven't seen Sex and the city or don't even particularly want to. Or any of travails of the Indian Bridget Jones (Brinda Joshis? Pliss excuse, couldn't help myself)
On the other hand I wouldn't say I was a sworn enemy either ( and if there are any rabid fans baying for my blood, let me interject hurriedly and say that I am a big admirer of slightly dated chick lit - viz. Heyer.There is a making-fun-at-self undertone in Heyer's work ( also sometimes seen in Desperate Housewives) which is quite lovely).
Anyways, I digress. If there is an audience who laps up stories of Harry Winston, chapatis and chips ..ahem .."post-coital cuddling", by all means, let the genre grow and multiply.
But what I DO want to know, is why each and every single of the book flaps, newspaper reviews, magazine articles, insist on describing these (the books, the protagonists and the authors) as "Sassy"?
I don't know what is about that word which manages to annoy me so much. It's supposed to be a emancipated word, but somehow it sounds utterly condescending which goes contrary to the woman-of-substance they try and portray. To my mind, there is something quite wannabe and brittle about the term.
Or maybe I am reading it all wrong?
I asked a colleague, a die-hard chick-lit fan, who is almost conjoined with a series of these books.
She told me that it meant women, who could stand on their own feet, and give (I quote) "as good as they get" back to the men in their lives, and who don't take shit from guys - even if they are significant others.Actually, even less if they are from significant others.
But doesn't that also describe Ekta Kapoor heroines I asked her. The Tulsi's and Parvatis of the world - who always have lots of money,seem to be living in mansions in metros, work ( take over their husband's business when those incompetent men cant do a thing) and are forever scrapping with villainous males in all shapes and forms? They even spend hours on their make up AND wear stilettos and high fashion kancheepurams.
She didn't seem very happy with the comparison. In fact she has stopped talking to me after that.
Maybe i should go and tell her that she is sassy.