Bombay Duck is a Fish ~ Kanika Dhillon
By: Varsha Naik
Blogs: baarishbo.blogspot.com / baarish.instablogs.com
Like countless others, Neki Brar moves from her quiet hometown, Amritsar to the big bustling city – Mumbai, to turn her dreams into a reality. Her dream is a simple one really, to be a top film-maker in the city that made many stars. Till one day it’s all too much for her, and she decides to throw it all away, right off her fifth floor apartment window.
Neki takes us through days of her life as penned in her diary, Nano. As she stumbles through the days, on the set and off, she discovers that truly all that glitters is not gold. And that behind every charming face is someone trying to step up the ladder while crushing you underfoot.
Her story is one of love and hate, roommates and colleagues, friendship and betrayal, success and failure. Neki discovers the single-most important truth of life - that to move ahead in life, you must be able to move on from life’s challenges.
Personal Opinion: As I read the synopsis on the back of the cover at the airport store, the book immediately struck a chord with me, on two distinct yet intertwined notes.
Five years ago, my beautiful confident sister hung herself in her apartment in Mumbai, shattering all my misconceptions that she had finally figured it out, finding the job and the life she was looking for. Rocking my world on the way out, she made me re-think everything I think and feel and reorganise what my life should be like. This book is as close to getting inside her head as I will ever be, and for that I am grateful, for now I can begin to understand some of the turmoil.
Five years after that tragic moment, I stand on the threshold of a new beginning. Planning to move to Mumbai to find the life that I believe is out there for me. Nervous about the future, but confident that I have what it takes to find a footing and keep my sanity, this book is like a sign. Tread carefully in the days ahead, and remember that you need to believe in yourself above everyone else to stay happy.
As daunting as the realisation that the Bombay Duck is a fish, the book paints the true picture of life in Mumbai, though I belive this can be extended to life almost anywhere in the world. At the same time as sending a chill down your spine, Kanika's rendition of life in Mumbai will leave a glimmer of hope somewhere admist the chaos.
My rating: 10/10
I recommend this book to those who are looking for change, to better their lives. It’s not a heartwarming story, but the sadness and depth of it makes you see a new meaning in life. I don’t recommend it to children below 18 who are too innocent to understand the dark undertones of the story. And better that way, that they stay protected by the bitter realities of life for as long as possible.