About the author:
Vijay Santhanam was born in Madras, India. Having planned for, and happily taken, early retirement after 21 years of corporate life, he now pursues his passions fully, which include writing, teaching, following sports and other interests.
My thoughts on the book:
Reviewing someone’s life story is not my cup of tea. It’s their experience, and only they can put it in a way that does that experience justice. That’s my belief, and it’ll always be. The plus side to reading a non-fiction is that it can inspire us to really live our own life, inspire in a way that is different from fiction. Fiction takes you to a world you can imagine just as easily through the author’s words as he did when he plotted it. Non-fiction is harder, it takes you to the person’s life and the hardships that he faced.
Vijay suffered a stroke at the age of 41, one that paralyzed the right side of his body. He starts off recollecting the day, and what symptoms were seen, ones he didn’t recognize, and even when he did recognize, was adamant not to accept. It is human nature after all to not accept we are ill. He goes into the details, but not so much that I’ve to imagine the actions, just understand them and feel what he felt at that time. I also feel like giving him a standing ovation for his reaction after finding out. Once he gets to know he’s not going to die, he immediately says he will fight.
And fight he does. He accepts his wife’s decisions, accepts that he’ll need help in doing mundane, daily things and start from the first. He uses a light tone, which makes it easier for us to read. He puts in details of his effort to overcome his condition, and how he conditions his brain. That puts the cover design into perspective as well. He loses his grasp over languages and has to re-learn them, and he sticks with his effort rather than giving up. That’s why the subtitle. He also brings his passions and hobbies with the read as well, and I liked the cricket part.
It’s wonderful to realize that even in our most troubled times, there is hope, and there are people who’ll stand by us and give us support. It’s also nice to see the author has not missed to thank each of those persons, and dedicated the book to his wife as well.
This doesn’t read like a medical history of the author, rather an inspiring journey that tells us not to give up on life even when it feels like life has given up on us.
Title: My Stroke of Luck
Author: Vijay Santhanam
Publishers: Hay House India
Price: INR. 299
(July 31st, 2013)