Koul, Scaachi. “One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays”, Picador, 2017.
Dealing with Life
Scaachi Koul shares how she deals with life by using biting humor. When she was just a child, she learned what about life made her unhappy and/or stressful and that anything and everything could cause her despair. The stories that she shares in this collection of essays are how she sees this world as a woman of color and she is brutally honest as she looks around and sees that strict gender rules keep us bound in culture. Because of these, there is not much room for a woman who is more interested in having a career than being married and/or a mother. Her look at modern life is both profound and very, very funny.
Koul shares intimate moments and she knows who will read her work— “those who can’t imagine what her life is like and are given a glimpse into it, and those like her, who will likely feel relief to see themselves reflected in a piece of culture that is sharp, witty and just plain fun to read.”
We see that in order to overcome something that is distasteful or that we consider wrong, we must first be able to make public its ugliness and why it is harmful. As Koul does this, she uses her own honesty, vulnerability and sense of humor. Her stories, while hers, are universal.
Koul’s is a first-generation Canadian with Indian parents and she has something to say about phobias, guilt trips, and grudges, race, sexism, and body image issues. If there is an overall theme here it is inheritance is universal and the struggle not to become one’s parents and perhaps accepting that the ways they done things is acceptable today. She is quick to point out the double standards that exist for her both as a woman in her family and a woman of color in the world. Much of what Koul has to say is not new but she manages to make it fresh and very, very funny.