Review by Robyn Fawcett
Anita Rani’s event for Durham Book Festival, ‘The Right Sort of Girl’, was uplifting and inspiring, spilling the honest truth about her life growing up and the experiences she has endured.
Anita talked a great deal about her Punjabi heritage, and chair Sarah Shaffi pinpointed the reasoning behind Anita speaking up. Anita expressed she felt as if she had been hiding her authentic self and becoming a smaller version, trying to forget her Indian heritage to fit in. Sarah was able to relate to these matters and tease out the key elements of Anita’s life, giving the audience members more of an understanding of who Anita is.
It was truly a breath of fresh air hearing Anita speak about the struggles we all face daily and how, for someone who is on TV regularly, it just puts status and life into perspective. No matter who you are or what you do, at the end of the day we all feel and think somewhat the same… at the end of the day we are only human. The language and content Anita referred to throughout will have you nodding in agreement.
The event felt really inclusive. When answering questions Anita was honest and forthright, offering buckets of advice. Sarah was an exceptional chair, as she was able to relate to parts of Anita’s story and correlate them to her own family experience. This made me feel more invested and connected. The event had a profound feeling of true honesty and love shared throughout. I also found it educational. I learnt about Punjabi culture: Anita detailed the traditions and shared a family secret – how to make the best curry.
Anita talked about being the right sort of girl, amplifying more marginalised voices, encouraging people to continue being themselves, and not being ashamed of who we are and where we come from.
If you have ever felt like an outsider, or just not the ‘right sort of girl’, then I highly recommend you give this event a watch, and read the book.