Some enlightening background from the author of The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer by Laxmi Hariharan, reviewed by ACHUKA here…
[W]hen 17 months ago a young photojournalist was raped in the heart of Mumbai in broad daylight, it made me furious. Technology had birthed Facebook and Twitter in the time I had been away from Mumbai, but meanwhile the city seemed to have only become more unsafe for girls.
I had this vision of a larger than life, magnificent, vigilante figure. A teenage girl who would simply follow her instincts, someone who would hit out first and think later. Who would teach those leering men a lesson.
Thus Ruby Iyer was born. I was helpless as a teenager coming of age in that metropolis. Ruby Iyer is not. She is not constrained by the every day reality of Indian society, where walking down the street in a pair of jeans will invite unwanted attention. And where if you did stand up to your tormentors, you would probably pay the price.
I am subconsciously influenced by that most towering of personas who has ruled Bollywood over most of my adult life – the Angry Young Man avatar of Amitabh Bachchan, one of the most influential actors of Indian cinema and popular culture. But this is 2015 and a 24-year-old Jennifer Lawrence has just closed the last year as the highest-grossing actor in Hollywood, thanks in part to playing Katniss Everdeen. The time is now for the Angry Young (Indian) Girl to claim centre-stage.