Friday, November 25, 2011

Life Is What You Make It By Preeti Shenoy !!!

              I ended up reading Preeti Shenoy's Life Is What You Make It. This is the second time when I attempted a female Indian writer. Last time, it was Varsha Dixit who disappointed me. Preeti Shenoy's LIWYMI has been at Bestseller from a long time which compelled me to read it. I started it with a believe that this book will disappoint me as very less female writers have managed to impress audience. But to my surprise, I'm a fan of Preeti Shenoy now. She knows how to carry a book with love stories, sex and physicality being an Indian women. Mostly, Indian audience doesn't like a girl speaking about all these things but when it is done with style, no one catches you. 

             Life Is What You Make It is about Ankita who is a very super-cool and talented girl. She is full of ambitions and she is quite romantic. Her story is based in the year 1989. So as there were no telephones then, she send letter to her boyfriend Vaibhav and she treats her life as she has already married him. Her friends hate this about her. She changes her mindset and gets engaged with Abhi-the boy who loved her a lot. Then she gets admission in a college of Mumbai for MBA which was her dream but Abhi doesn't get it. She is in no mood to compromise with her life and leaves Abhi behind. She meets new friends in college and now she starts hanging around with Joseph. Suddenly, the thoughts of Abhi starts haunting her mind again and she starts sinking into depression. She ends up in mental hospital. Now, how Ankita returned back. What she learned about life. What did she do with those 3 boys after coming out. What happened to Abhi. Did she became normal again. There are many twists and tales in this book. Go get it and read it as soon as possible as you will clap as soon as you will finish the book.

            Coming to the review, Preeti Shenoy has a great sense of carrying a story as she knows that Indian audience expect some raunchy talks and behaviors between the couple and she did justice to it. She kept her love story simple. This book is not a love story but it is about how one should live their life like. Preeti has beautifully scripted the whole story to let the world know that the people going to mental hospital or coming back from it aren't crazy. That's a kind of sickness which can happen with anyone at any point of time. The time I realized that the book is about the main character itself and it has no love story involved, I took deep interest in reading it. At last, when the book ended, I clapped and wanted the book to be little more big. I didn't wanted it to finish. I finished it at one sitting. Preeti Mam, I am definitely looking at your next fiction novel. I rate this book 4/5. Go for it. Very different. Deserves to be in Bestsellers. 




Rahul said...

Life is what you make it is Preeti Shenoy’s second book. Her first book, 34 Bubblegums and Candies is a lighthearted book about the journey called life and the bittersweet experiences that we get out of it. It’s delightful and it’s peppy. Her second book however, is in a totally different league.
Life is what you make it is a story about Ankita Sharma, a regular college kid. Her life is like that of any youngster, revolving around her friends, studies, with a few romantic swings thrown in as well ! She is smart, intelligent and very sure of what she wants out of her life. Life for her couldn’t be better. Suddenly and totally unexpectedly her life is thrown out of gear as starts showing symptoms of a mental illness and is finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. What follows is a gripping tale of how a mental disorder turns a young girl’s life topsy turvy and how she manages to come out the abysmal depths of her depression and fights tooth and nail to regain her sanity and her hold over life. This book is about growing up, not only physically but mentally and emotionally, by redefining your beliefs, your opinion about life and emerging out of a life threatening incident as not only a stronger but a far more insightful person.
There are two things that stand out about this book. One is the unusual but very sensitive topic that Preeti has chosen to write about. Almost all the books that we read now days are either chic lits, or books about college life (I am sick of Books about life in IITs and management institutes! ) or about the corporate jungle. Preeti has dared to go off the beaten track to write about a topic few people know anything about, let alone would care to write about. The second thing that actually makes this book such a good read is the way Preeti has written it. The topic could have been dealt in a cold clinical manner or in an over emotional rambling way that would just make the reader pity Ankita and shed tears. Preeti however, has dealt with the issue in a very sensitive and perceptive manner without being over dramatic. In the first part of the book, She takes us through Ankita’s life as a college student with the usual escapades and happenings that gives us that `been there done that` feeling and brings a smile to our lips. But Preeti truly comes into her own as a writer in the second half of the book when Ankita goes through an emotional roller coaster thanks to Bipolar Disorder. Preeti has described the fears, agonies, frustration and pain that Ankita goes through in a very touching yet realistic manner that moves you beyond words and leaves you totally numb. The narration is simple, yet extremely eloquent. Words flow easily and lucidly and do a much better job in portraying feelings and emotions than complicated or intricate sentences would have done. Life is what you make it is that rare blend of emotions, sensitivity and excellent writing that makes Preeti a class apart from the other writers that we see these days.
This is a very intense book. A book that moves and inspires you immensely and makes you realize that life can change at any moment and within the happy, carefree and supposedly balanced individuals that we see every day a mental illness can rear its ugly head at any time. This is also a highly inspiring tale of determination, courage and a tribute to the indomitable spirit within each one of us.

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