Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh: India’s Lonely Young Women and the Search for Intimacy and Independence by Shrayana Bhattacharya

Do you have any star who you always idolize? If you have, then what’s the reason behind it?

For years, I have asked myself the same question. People ask me “still, why?” I have given various answers but not any of them define my own reasons for loving this man. I have discovered my reason during my therapy sessions and as this is very personal, I haven’t shared it with anyone. Maybe one day, if I could meet him, I would say this to him.

But after reading this book I have discovered another reason for loving Shah. Because he sees me and all of us. Not always you want power or intelligence. Most of the time, you need to feel heard and seen. He has that “trademark gaze” full of charm, love and respect for the women he’s romancing in the movies. I have heard stories from many people about their first meeting with Shah. No matter who you are, he makes you feel comfortable and special; always.

Shrayana said in her book that loving or imagining about Shahrukh is trying to imagine an alternative masculine world that is forced on women. More importantly she showed us the moment when we turn to him as when the world tears us apart. 

Shrayana Bhattacharya’s unconventional approach to connect with the diverse range of women through their desires, dreams, hopes and expectations with their sharing fandom, makes this book a unique read. These women are from different parts of India. Their lives, thoughts, everything is different yet their struggles, shattered dreams by the society, patriarchy or the unrealistic expectations of people connect them with a universal sisterhood.

Being a researcher, the writer gave descriptive narration with statistics and data. Sometimes that became a bit difficult and boring to read. And also the detail description of the women lives 
could be shorter. Other than that, it can be a brilliant way to look into Asian women’s lives and also into the crazy and one of the most loyal fanbases of the world.

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