Sometimes a book comes your way, but it's so disappointing that it takes months to get over it.
Lilly Singh aka Superwoman, has a strong presence on YouTube, and it's always good to see a female comedian take charge. So, for obvious reasons, there was a good deal of anticipation for her book How to Be a Bawse. The name also has a Tina Fey ring to it.
Long story short, How to be a Bawse is a self-help book on how to become a ‘BAWSE’.
“Unlike a boss, who is defined as such only within the workplace, a Bawse is someone who excels in both personal and professional settings,” explains Lilly in her book.
Superwoman is basically a hip and comic Shiv Khera, who tells us that we can achieve our goals and realise our dreams if we follow the framework of success laid down in some 300 pages of glossy text and colourful images.
There are 50 chapters in all with advice on everything starting from "Conquer Your Thoughts" to "Protect Your Vision” to “Say What You Mean”.
The chapters are short and anecdotal, and are meant to humanise the person behind the Superwoman videos and illustrate her advice on life. But the formula that is clearly made for a video, can’t really be expected to work in a book. It appears that with its blinding colours and tiny chapters, Lilly is hoping to grab the attention of a toddler.
But for her fans, this might not be a problem at all, given the fact that she is a pan-identity for not only women, but also people of different races.
The writing, while trying to be frank and crisp, is also full of confidence and power. But the signature of Superwoman is supposed to be humour, and one can't tell what is new about this particular self-help book. Unlike wine, humour doesn't get better when it's old.
As much as this book is meant to inspire the reader to “climb the ladder” to success, it also celebrates the author’s achievement of becoming a celebrity and being loved by millions of her fans, a list which includes hotshots like Dwayne Johnson and Alicia Keys.
As the cover suggests, Superwoman is already a Bawse – she’s wearing a red power suit after all. She must, therefore, have what it takes to be one, and can preach it to those who look up to her.
Her struggles are worth the readers’ time because of her success. I mean, who doesn’t wanna become rich and famous by posting YouTube videos, right? So there are chapters like “Climb the Ladder” and “Climb Another Ladder”, illustrated with photos of Lilly on two different ladders. (I mean, what?)
However, she doesn’t choose to lay specific steps to become like her. She wants people to find their own individual selves and follow her general guidelines to actualise their dreams.
Some can read it as wisdom from their role model, while others can call it the kind of hogwash that justifies another Fast & Furious movie as long as people are buying it.
There are rules to her guidelines though. And unless you want to be a “Debbie Downer”, you cannot disagree with her wisdom. She wants us to learn with an open mind and ignore the “loopholes”. How to be a Bawse is a Bollywood flick wrapped in a paperback.
Title: How to be a Bawse
Price: Rs 394
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