By Sunory Dutt
With a cover depicting a pair of sexy legs in Lolita-ish lace-ups on one foot and killer heals on the other, you’re already predisposed to judging this book by its cover. Any woman who’s made that successful transition is worth a read.
Men on my Mind is a brutally frank retrospect of author Radha Thomas laid bare (pun unintended) trajectory with men and their mojos – the Johns, Dicks and Hornys she encounters during her wonder years.
As she takes you on her wanton self discovery of men – be it the first kiss, encounters with pubescent boys, making out with her bestie’s older brother, dealing with the late bloomers from an all-girls convent education, warding off perverted Humbert Humbert wannabes, or mixing business with pleasure, they’re told with an artless sincerity and humorous self deprecation that’s endearing.
In the process you develop a sense of esprit de corps with the provocateur. You want to berate her for her follies, protect her from the big bad wolves she unwittingly embraces, and at the same time, cheer her on as she throws caution to the wind in formulating her own big bang theories. You’re drawn toward vicariously devouring her life and loving it.
Her intriguing sexapades spanning various cities and continents, the dichotomy of lust and love, contemplating interior redecoration ideas at the nth cherry-popping moment, separating the men from the boys, and many such bits will have you laugh out loud more than once during the course of reading what’s on her mind.
While on one hand there’s the refreshing irreverence toward casual sex and ensuing zero emotional baggage, there’s also the author’s alter ego that’s–unbeknown to her–already found her true love even during her salad days – music. The author’s evolution from a confused nymph shunning academics to a confident and talented singer who finally finds her voice of jazz (literally and figuratively), complete with many a no-strings-attached band-mate rendezvous, strikes a happy chord.
But just when you think she’s finally met her epiphany in The One, courtesy of the New York MTA (of all romantic places), sushi and sashimi, the book comes to a premature ejaculation. The kind that has you thinking, “Huh, is that it?” You’re left unsatisfied, selfishly craving information overload – did she really marry the man or was it too many sakes talking… what of the peaks, troughs and deltas of Venus and Vatsayana in this Indo-French joint venture; were the Japanophiles able to discover their yin and yang, does she finally put her man/men to the grind?
There better be a sequel in the works. Nobody likes getting there but not quite there; the author of all people should know.