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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Restless Days, Sleepless Nights by Ranjana Bharij is an autobiography revolving around Ranjana’s experiences working in the male-dominated banking sector in India in the '70s. Restless Days, Sleepless Nights is a collection of recollections spanning Ranjana’s career of 35+ years, right from Ranjana as a hard-working student wanting to pursue her dreams to her various job postings all over India, and her career growth and the accompanying challenges she faced in an inherently patriarchal and sexist society. The stories are not necessarily in a chronological order and, in fact, can be read independently of each other, though it is recommended to read them from beginning to end.
Restless Days, Sleepless Nights by Ranjana Bharij is a great book on a topic that surprisingly does not receive much attention these days: namely, how things have changed for women from living in an overtly sexist society to a more subtle form of it which is still pervasive. That being said, as more and more women become educated and enter the workforce, the old attitudes have changed for the better, even though there is still a long way to go. I found the writing style to be genuine and engaging, and also appreciated the human element of the story about the personal lives of the employees she works with and the challenges that other women faced as well. For example, the story of a married woman employee controlled and abused by her husband and in-laws is eye-opening, and a reminder that economic freedom is only the first step - for true empowerment, women also need to take power into their own hands and assert themselves. This is a great read that I would highly recommend.