Sunday, 22 March 2015

'The Ex-Files' is all about empowering women

Ms Sumita Misra, Chairman of Chandigarh Literary Society released Vandana Shah’s book, “The Ex-Files” published by Shobhaa De books and Penguin Books India on 21st March at the Chandigarh Golf Club.

Told through her own personal story, The Ex Files reveals the hardships of divorce and also the joys of emerging stronger with your positive thinking and humour intact.  The book also deals with the legal and social aspects of divorce, so often overlooked in India, and provides an indispensible guide to the ins and outs of proceedings.

Noted author, columnist and tv personality, Khushwant Singh moderated the session.

In 2001 Vandana Shah, despite her best efforts to save her marriage, found herself facing a divorce petition.  But instead of wallowing in self-pity, she picked up the pieces of her shattered life and moved straight on.  She not only found a job but went on to become a divorce lawyer and a community leader, starting India’s first divorce support group and network.

At once funny, tragic and uncompromisingly honest, this memoir will resonate with anyone who has endured the end of a marriage and come out changed.

Vandana Shah studied at St Xavier's College in Mumbai and has since donned various hats including that of a model, a deejay and an advertising professional. After being thrown out of her marital home with just the clothes on her back and Rs 750 in the bank, Vandana rebuilt her world and founded the first Indian support group to help people going through a divorce, 360 Degrees Back to Life. She has since come full circle from being a litigant to being a divorce lawyer and practices at the family court in Mumbai.

Vandana writes a monthly column in the magazine, Black and White Oman and she edits Ex-Files, India's first divorce news magazine.

She has also participated in the Lead India Programme and was the winner from Mumbai in 2010. Vandana's work for the cause of women going through divorce in India has resulted in a BBC documentary about her work, entitled Invisible Women of India. This was broadcast worldwide on international Women's Day in 2014.

Her first book endorsed by the iconic feminist Gloria Steinem won an award and she has translated another book on the Jain faith from English to Hindi.  She also received the NAI Achievement award for the best lawyer in India for Women’s Rights in November 2014.

 “When Holy Wedlock becomes Holy Deadlock, what do you do?  Cry your heart out of laugh it off?  Here is a book which will help you to enjoy your way through the thickets of divorce and plot the second marriage.  Read, relax, rejoice”

Padma Bhushan Lord Meghnad Desai

“Champagne-dripping, solitaire-studded, a Jimmy-Choo-on-steroids divorce memoir that lightens the trauma of divorce…that you just can’t put down”
Advaita Kala