Sangeeta Mall’s ‘Filght of the Flamingo’ is the first title in the Beyond Pink series. It takes a look at the real dilemmas of urban Indian career women in India who choose to follow their gut, using their talents and career options to design their lives. The author has developed her characters quite well for the readers to understand every character.
Preeta Dhingra, the protagonist is an editor in Pradhan publishing house, is shuttling with her boss and family where her mother is dying due to cancer and Mitali, her daughter suffering from cerebral palsy though she possess sharp acumen to understand her mother’s agonies. Amidst her regular work load, Preeta finds a manuscript one day titled ‘Dangerous’, where she reads the synopsis only to find that it was an autobiography of Sonia Vaswani , one of the most powerful women in the country. She narrates about her perfect life, her marriage and how it turned into hell. Sonia has come forward and penned down her life story and has urged other women who was a victim of similar circumstance wherein their individuality has been compromised by stereotypical male dominated society, a society where women are expected to adjust and to take a backseat for the sake of their family. Later, the glamorous Rimpi Bajaj adds her story in the book as well. Thus, the book recorded the stories of love and betrayal of some strong women who refused to remain victims and thus moved on with their lives. Preeta Dhingra, who was in a similar situation, thus developed a strong attraction to this book to the extent that she puts her job, Mitali’s treatment on stake. She is determined to publish the book and she succeeds in doing so at the end.
The question that arises here is why she takes so much pain and goes out of her way only to publish this one book? Is it for the sake of her friendship with Sonia that she developed during the course of time? Or, is it for the promises she made to herself? Or, to tell the world that a Flamingo flies against all odds? It just waits for the wind to gather beneath its wings before taking off. Or, was it a reciprocation of the talented and ambitious Preeta’s individuality where she is found to travel on the parallel roads where Sonia and Rimpi were traveling upon?
Verdict: Good and honest work. Very well written in simple language. As Sangeeta Mall very rightly said about her book, “My book is about real women doing real things”.