Book Review(s): ‘A Bolt of Lightning’ and ‘Dating, Diapers & Denial’

Satyen Nabar at the launch of his book with Naseeruddin Shah

Satyen Nabar at the launch of his book with Naseeruddin Shah

A Bolt of Lightning is story of Shiva, who has so far been a successful corporate executive. Unsurprisingly, work stress is getting to him, his marriage is disintegrating. When it seems his wife has moved up on career ladder, he seems to have been stuck somewhere in his career, even after coming all this far. And there are his friends, Adi and Sid, who he is not seeing as much as he would like to.  After few unforeseen setbacks, Shiva moves to Goa to ruminate or recuperate. It is when story shifts from Metro city to Goa, Shiva undergoes a-life-changing-experience. After this event, he embarks on a journey of self-realisation,  and makes peace with ‘real life’.  I could not help but notice the author’s emphasis on keeping a restrained, realistic end.

All the elements of a racy book can be noted– a prophecy by a face reader in train, drugs and foreigners in Goa, doctor jokes, death and suicides, life-threatening situation, and strands of spirituality. As a story, his book is a breeze to read. Though I must confess, I was not the right reader for this book, I don’t much understand spirituality and journeys of self-realisation. Or, maybe I am a skeptic since I haven’t undergone a mammoth life-changing experience. Self-discovery and realisation for me have been painfully slow, one moment at a time.

Therefore,  after reading the book, for a long time I did not know what to write about it. So, I procrastinated and to my horror, I had forgotten all about the story in the book except the one thing I have not revealed here in this review. That, I suggest, you must find out yourself by reading the book. Though I must mention that editing of this book has done it disservice, there are typos and punctuation errors in the book. For example, on Page 15, ‘been’ is written as ‘bean’.

As Google tells me, author Satyen Nabar is an Orthopaedic surgeon and this is his first book.

Dating, Diapers & Denial is another book I didn’t know what to write about at first. Now, don’t get me wrong, book was again a breeze to read, I had finished read it within two hours of beginning it. So, as is obviously evident the writing style is simple, engaging and even humorous. And yet once I had finished the book, there was not much that stayed with me. As the Heath brothers would say, the message did not stick. The book felt like a light banter, a sort of meandering ramble that failed to register to first time. So, I went back to it again to find out the message.Daing_diapers

Dating, Diapers & Denial is written as a collection of 15 light-hearted ‘lessons’ gathered by author from her experience as wife and mother, drawn from real life and presented with mock levity and humour.  That, I think, sums up the book beautifully. There were ‘lessons’ that I thought are universal and one would identify with it. For example, ‘You will reach an awkward age when you do not fit in with the young nor with the old’. Or, that ‘You will want more out of life.’ Then there are reminders of those queer nuggets of phenomenon that we ignore, for example, all that wisdom that is imparted in trains by fellow passengers, our gharelu nuskhe, your experience at your regular parlour and so on.

The book espouses almost every facet of daily adult life to make you laugh. You laugh about inane pleasures and struggles of life, when you read about travelling with children, general exhaustion in daily grind of life, good mother checklist, essential shopping list with children, different ways of a girl and boy child, dealing with homework, you get the picture. 🙂

Go ahead, sit back in chair with this book while putting up your legs on the table, and read up on mundane, everyday details of life served with a dash of droll wit.

Disclaimer: I have received review copies for both the books. I must thank both the authors on their patience (for I received these copies long back) and fairness that they did not attempt to influence my opinion in any way. Thank you, and keep writing.

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Visceral Observations is written by Poonam Sharma. It is licensed to her under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License
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April 2013

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