A title that most, if not all of us will understand is definitely something that works in the favor of a book. A beautiful and quite soothing cover art adds to that. Raj Supe’s novel appealed to me firstly for these reasons, and that was why I picked it up, though the genre had made me a bit hesitant at first.
Fantasy as a genre is quite appealing. It takes us into a world that’s concocted by the author, with magic and magical creatures etc. It’s a wonderful way to get away from reality almost completely. To take Indian mythology and kind of mix it with life and make it into a fantasy novel, I felt that that novel would be interesting. It was the main reason I wanted to read the book The Secret Mantra by Chaitra KR.
‘That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.’
At times, there’s nothing more relaxing than traveling. The heart gets tired of seeing the same things over and over again, and wishes to explore the unseen, hear the unheard and experience something new. Someone who is stuck in the city for most days of the week may prefer to venture out of it, and seek the sounds of nature, or the calmness of a village. Of course, there are occasions where one would seek out the warmth and familiarity of an old, treasured memory.
Each genre has its own particular characteristics, I feel. A fantasy works best when magic is at the forefront and a mystery when it makes the reader interested to solve the crime along with the tale. The genre of horror works best when the words make the reader imagine the scene, rather than saying it directly. It is this that I look for when I take a horror genre book to read.
“You’ll live a hundred years.”
How many of us might have been told this when we walked into a room at the exact time as the people there were talking of us. I haven’t really thought about what I’d do if I live a hundred years, but only wished that the life I live be satisfactory. The last century has seen a lot of landmark events, some good some bad. People who have lived through that, been a part of that, their thoughts and stories are something to take note of. To compile such a set of stories is something as difficult as it is interesting. And through this book, that is exactly what Meera Shashidhara does.
Living to be a Hundred is a unique project, one that started out long back, but only came to fruition recently. The stories of people in it are interesting, to say the least. What is nice to see is that the people in it aren’t celebrities or famous people, but people who have led tough lives and reached the mark of one hundred years. Their life may not have left a mark on the world by name, but some have been part of those events which did. Their philosophies on life are sometimes so simple that it surprises. They’ve done what they had to do to survive. And though I may not understand what they had to do sometimes, I admire their strength for having done that.
Through these true stories, I almost felt what they felt… the irony of finding out you married an uneducated person when you are campaigning for more education, or the sadness of rejections that make you feel like taking an extreme step. Each person going past their obstacles showed that strength more. If the first half were their stories, their habits and routines, the second part explored their thoughts and philosophies on various things more. Their ideas on what accomplishment or passion is, what is inspiration and where they found it, what they felt to be the best time of their lives… they are worth reading.
Though a non-fiction, this book doesn’t come across like an essay. It’s almost like you are sitting with the person and having a chat over coffee. This way of putting it across makes it feel light and nice to read. The author mentions that it took a while for this project to get published. I’m glad that it did.
Why should you read it?
Inspiring stories of people who have lived a hundred years, been a part of important events and yet not well known. A non-fiction that keeps the reader engaged.
Title: Living to be a Hundred
Author: Meera Shashidhara
Publisher: Leadstart Publishers
Price: INR. 195
(11th June 2014)
About the author:
C R Jena is an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, and Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshvar. He is a sales professional with fifteen years of experience in selling products and services in the IT industry. This is his second book.
Cover and blurb:
The cover art shows a maze to money, perhaps a destination or goal every person with a job aims for, and a maze that every person goes through.
My thoughts on the book:
When you are successful, you know what you did or did not do to get to that position. Those who look up to you usually try to follow what you have done. So the steps of your journey become just as important in another’s life as they were in yours. This book jots down the steps of the author’s journey in the industry.
The book, divided into 27 chapters, bring out the factors that worked for him, and things he feels we might be able to relate to. It’s not a gyan base to become successful.
I liked the easy fluid language that the author has. It’s easily understandable and the thoughts that he shares with us are put forth in an interesting manner, sometimes with images, sometimes with formulae and sometimes, just as it is. One of his formulae is at the start of the book, the first chapter. The wisdom of the model is something I could understand very easily. Only if we know what we want, act on that and measure our success can we make a blueprint for future steps. It’s not something that I necessarily act on all the time, but I could understand that.
The book is more useful for sales professionals than others. The author feels otherwise, but I didn’t quite understand most of the book’s wisdom.
Title: A Salesman’s Lessons
Author: C R Jena
Genre: Non Fiction
Publishers: Platinum Press / Leadstart Corp
Price: INR. 195
(16th Nov, 2013)