Friday, May 27, 2016

Book Review: The PCOD - Thyroid Book

My ratings: ●●●●
Rujuta Diwekar      
The PCOD - Thyroid Book
India: Westland, 2016
201 pp. 100
ISBN: 9789385724411

Summary: While this one might appear as another extremely informative, refreshing read from Rujuta, it, in reality, sounds starkly familiar if you have been following all her writings till this time. On the contrary, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if bible or any of your religious scriptures for that matter is read to you time and again, would you? Yes, this one is another health reference book for keeps.    

My take: I find the title of the book a bit deceiving, for the author does talk about the hormones and the problems them going haywire might cause to your body, a majority of it is about your general health and how changing your lifestyle actually reflects directly on your well-being. So, here, she loses marks for not being able to decide the title well. But you know what, I read on a popular website that one in seven people all through the world suffer from diseases related to thyroid and there she scored a homerun! She pretty well knows what she’s talking about.

To be honest, this one, health, is one of my favorite genres. I love reading any new content I get my hands on and I must have digested by now the books Rujuta has written, three in the past. There’s a problem with good authors being extremely explanatory to their readers – it leaves them with very little they could possibly share in their next compositions. She’s kind of tried to drain everything she ever knew down her reader’s mind in the past and, now, no matter what new she comes up with, it all sounds old-hat.

This book, though clearly says that it’s been compiled from Women and the Weight Loss Tamasha, follows similar line of content as her previous books. I see a lot of her readers scoffing at her writing style – I find that totally appropriate considering the segment of readers she is writing for, Indian women who love being told what to do. Her writing style, while on one hand is colloquial and desi, on the other it’s tad too authoritative and casual. I think she could surprise her readers with better English next time!

Furthermore, this low-priced edition addressed exclusively to PCOD- and thyroid-related disease sufferers is actually meant for everyone who wants to know the key to a healthy life. The author has been actively advocating the value of local, fresh food and that pretty much sums up the storyline of this book. She is also one of those few sports nutrionists and diet counselors we have in India who push people to eat what they have been asked to avoid. Not only this, she appears as a beacon of hope to people who hate working out, for she shows so many cool after-effects to ‘gymming’ that everyone reading her feels inspired to pull up his socks, like literally.

I did not like the cover much, for I just could not relate with the acronym “PT” used in bolds on the face of the book. Was it to sum up to use the initials of both the diseases she’s tried to talk about in the book – PCOD and thyroid? Very bad and unimaginative choice, I must say.     

Final word: This book would not disappoint you if you have been looking for any answers to PCOD- or thyroid-related questions and it wouldn’t disappoint you either if you have been just trying to find an informative health non-fiction in this. This fourth book by Rujuta Diwekar is a brief, informatory book about women’s health in general and sounds totally applicable to men’s health, too.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Book Review: Before We Visit the Goddess

My rating: ●●●●

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Before We Visit the Goddess
UK: Simon & Schuster UK, 2016
224 pp. 1250
ISBN: 9781471146961

Summary: This one presents itself as a great, brief read which seems to be taking you along on a journey through ages to explore lives, looking back on the decisions made and the steps taken to basically survive. It is when you switch off from the book, close your eyes to recapitulate what all happened that you connect the dots and feel amazed on how everything written, though all disconnected, makes freakingly perfect sense. A great read, indeed, worth all your time.   

My take: Three generations – Sabitri, Bela and Tara – have their ways with life; they seem to be taking certain decisions which make perfect sense to them at particular times in their lives; still, they carry the weightage that came along with the steps taken. The connection between the characters, although belonging to different generations makes great sense along the read.

There are various aspects of this book which seem intriguing the first time you hold the book, like the cover, which has borders similar to that of a saree telling the readers it might have something to do with feminism and a simple portrayal of the most basic requisite for worshipping, i.e., flowers, the TOC which mentions chapters in a disconnected series of time and the title which gives way to a whole lot of questions which are answered well through the read.

The book follows a non-linear narrative approach with sections titled aptly and dedicated to each protagonist. You would find multi-layered characters of all the three leads, which are revealed layer by layer slowly and, thus, this helps maintain a slightly mysterious air around, keeping the reader glued for more. This wonderfully written journey of three women will surely want you to dwell into the book deeper and deeper and will bring a smile onto your face towards the end when everything will seem so apt. I particularly liked the last and the final letter Sabitri is able to write to Tara after so many efforts and this is what made me fall in love with the author a little more.
Click to read

Final word: That sensation, the goosebumps, what I look for in any book while I finally reach on to the last page and to the last words - this book gave me precisely what I was hoping for. My first read from Divakurni has been a extremely well-written, dark, grim story about three generations of women - mother, daughter and granddaughter. This book would keep you glued till the end, wanting you to understand what led to the various acts. Further, the disconnected TOC intends you to be even more focused trying to put it all together like pieces of a puzzle. I look forward to reading her other writings.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

One year, countless memories!

This day, last year, we took the plunge to start living together, giving shape to our dreams. Reaching here, to this decision, settling in India and choosing to tread on the path which could prove to be extremely tough wasn’t taken in a day; it took us months and to me, it all seemed like an era.
I always tell my girlfriends it never seems to me that I live with my husband; the time we are spending now seems a mere extension to our dating time, when, of course, we were not staying together. It’s been a fun one year which has taught many life lessons I could possibly write a book about but, for now, let us do with a blog.
  1. No expectations = life full of surprises. Pretty much. I never expected him to cook or wake up early and make me tea or take extra care of me when I am not well. He did, and I pretended to take all that like a breeze!
  2. Friendship > marriage. Well, this dates back to the time from where it all started – it all started with friendship. So, we decided to retain the flavor and not adulterate with expectations marriage might hold from a couple.
  3. You + Me = We. A massive change. Yes, it is a couple taking decisions now in almost all the spheres. For the first time in my life, I have been putting my view in taking big decisions and enjoying the discussions happening before the consensus is settled.
  4. Marriage ≠ proving to each other. Accepting the other person the way he is, his way of living and thinking, habits, culture from where he comes all clubs into a package home-delivered to you, all wrapped in a gift paper. Living together would give way to whole lot of revelations which should just be taken as a milestone in knowing in each other and crossed happily.
  5. Love = being comfortable. That pretty much is the crux. One year is a long enough time to understand each other rather clearly and be able to breathe superfine in each other’s company. When there’s nothing to prove to the other person, you learn to live just the way you are.
  6. Marriage ≠ growing up: Yes! Be as crazy as you have always been and never let go of the things which actually bring pleasure to you. Though you have decided to grow old together but this sense of satisfaction of being with the right person might actually reverse age for you! Do not ever think of succumbing to societal pressures just because you’re growing old. I’ve been thinking of taking life one second at a time and, trust me, it makes me feel real light.
  7. Best times = sitting and talking: Just this. I trust in you and you trust in me. That should end the story well.
  8. Feelings ≠ words. When you live together with your husband and the feeling of being married starts sinking in, you realize that love is much more than words could ever define. It engulfs your relation, keeping it warm and giving you enough space for growth. You know no words could ever tell him how you feel and this feeling is so contagious that each other's mere presence would leave no space for words. You realize loving each other becomes as a habit as breathing.
  9. Clashes ≠ serious fuckups: It’s perfect to fight like pigs and come together later in the day because you need someone to talk to. It would always be your decision what you would want to prioritize at any given point – person, relation, matter or your ego. After all, any stupid decision taken in haste would not mean end of all the problems, but starting of a new set of problems.
  10. Success = being happy: This is my final word to sum up my one year this day. Love is being happy because you’ve been blessed to live the life of your dreams, to see things falling into place, to feel god’s blessings in all spheres of life and because you have so much to thank god for and even more to look forward to!
To the sheer happiness that spreads when we're together!
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