Author — Chetan Bhagat
My Rating – 4.2 / 5
A non-fiction written by an author who is well-known for his fiction writings, itself gave the readers a keen interest. His readers must have expected him to write something fun, romantic and dramatic writings as he always does in his alternative style. Maintaining the same style he just changed the content and the content is about suicides, corruption, poor health facilities and education which doesn’t brings up innovating masters in our country. Bhagat mentions that: Corruption is a way of life in India which is a by-product of a system that is power driven. He refers the system to the constitution and power to the wealthy political leaders. But corruption is not just confined to the system but also the society. A remarkable statement: ‘The system changes with better policies and society changes with better values’ gives you a gist of the writings in the book. If it had been any other author it might be a bit boring but this one is a beauty. The book is primarily based on the youth of India as most of the country is young .
The book gives detailed information of the politics in India and how we are bound to it. He boldly tells how the UPA and NDA governments actually behave according to their policies. But there are some highlights in the book which I want to mention :
This section is confined to students which I liked the most because I am one of those. Spark is the excitement which makes us feel truly alive. When we are kids we used to have a million sparks. A spider-man toy was enough to excite us to jump on the beds. A gift presented on our birthday made us to somersault all over the house. A movie show or a dine at the restaurant or a country side trip used to fill up us with interest, curiosity and anxiety. This excitement is called as spark.
When we reach the graduation age we still have these sparks with us but comparatively less. As you move on to the older age, it is difficult to find these sparks in us. Chetan takes an example of Kareena in the movie Jab we met. When we compare her to the first half versus the second half, we find that she loses her spark in the second half. This is what that happens to us if we lose the spark. Chetan says that these sparks can be invoked by three factors and should be protected from four storms. They are:
- Reasonable goals
- Balance of health and relationships
- Not taking things too seriously
And the four storms are:
- Loneliness of purpose
The author says that to keep these sparks alive we must always have goals as by human nature we always strive, improve and achieve our full potential. He tells us not to do things for money, he tells us to do those things which our heart tells us to do, the things which make us happy and the things which make us feel alive.
Secondly, these goals should be balanced. It’s not just about our career goals, it’s about our health, our relationships and of course our peace of mind. What is the use of coming first in a race without lemon in the spoon? Our striving is only worth if there is harmony in life otherwise the spark begins to die.
Thirdly, don’t take life too seriously. The author says that Life is a prepaid card with limited validity. If you live for 60 years you will just have 3000 weekends. It’s okay, bunk a few classes, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices. Now isn’t that something we always wanted to hear from our parents and teachers!!! I am not kidding, seriously!!!
Chetan also adds that we have 4 obstacles which try to kill our spark. The first being disappointment which comes to us when we do not get the expected results for our efforts. If we can overcome every challenge, then the word challenge will never exist. If we are failing at something, it implies that we have a different stage. Secondly frustration turns our internal energy into something negative, if we are frustrated it implies that we haven’t followed the third principle and took something very serious in our life. Thirdly, never think that life is unfair comparing to others connections, rich dads and beautiful faces. Finally, the most beautiful thing described by the author is isolation. As we grow older we realise that we are unique and what we believe in and what we feel is different from others. It happens because we compromise many things for our families and loved ones which mean so much to us. Chetan says Love yourself first and then others.
Wow!!! Now isn’t this something cool which made us realise that we are missing something. I just felt as if I founded the path of my life.
The next highlight is how Bhagat boldly aims at the leaders of our country. As I mentioned earlier, the critic is not just confined to the system but also the society. Yes, because many of us vote a party by seeing its religion or caste of the leaders but not by their efficiency. We choose leaders from the craze which their dads own. The author precisely describes what Indians do to themselves.
It may be the madam of BJP (indirectly aiming at Sushma Swaraj) who tells us to burn down the Walmart stores or the woman who puts a money garland around her neck (indirectly Mayawati) or the person who thinks that silence is a golden tool or a form of Gandhigiri (indirectly Manmohan Singh) or the woman who keeps quiet even after seeing the corruption in her party (indirectly Sonia Gandhi). Whoever it may be, Chetan has a point in detail why these political leaders have to change their so called attitude.
3. THE LETTERS AND THE TALENT:
Chetan has written two letters in this book, one to Gandhi and the other to Sonia. In the letter to Gandhi, he describes that India is free from the white people but not from the problems. Many people do not even get the basic amenities while the people who get them do not get a platform to do really something innovative. Also, in the letter to Sonia he addresses how the unaccounted money comes during electorate campaign and reminds her that she has a major role in ending corruption in INC.
And yes, talent is a precious natural resource and we must nurture it. Why does majority of students opt for either engineering or medicine after their plus two? It is because they are passionate towards these streams. Now, can there be anything more senseless than this answer? More or less, this is what even Chetan wants to say us. He says that Talent is a special ability and aptitude that gives people an edge in a particular field. Of course, even if we don’t bring out our talent we can do things but with talent we can change things.
WHO CAN BUY THIS BOOK ?
Well, it really doesn’t matter but since the book is largely focused on the youth, they are more preferred. It really is a book that is worth reading for all the others too. Also, the book is not just the highlights which I had mentioned, it has got a lot more general facts which the author describes in his own style. Of course, even our political leaders (at least those who can understand English), second or third generation business giants should also take a look at this book. I am not a fan of Bhagat personally but the thing is that good literature must always be encouraged!!!.