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Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Complex Story of a Suicide


The Story of a Suicide is a complex story



Complex because it tries to represent Life … and Life is Complex.

Complex because it tries to bring together the challenges that the youth face today … and those challenges are complex. Not because they are really complex … but because the youth is subjected to peer pressure as well as certain delusions of perceptions that make things complicated for themselves.


Complex because there are so many real as well as perceived challenges out there for the youth … and there are more perceived challenges against the small number of ‘real’ challenges. The youth gets confused between the real and perceived (as well as imaginary) challenges and get their priorities wrong; messing up their lives.

I am sure you think I am being overly harsh in my judgment and you might be saying “as if you were never young Hemant?” …


But seriously … do you remember hearing of the ‘numerous’ suicide cases or have you heard of references of psychiatrists and counsellors in your time? There were there in your time too BUT were they so prominent or so busy?

The Story of a Suicide is an attempt … an experiment … a helping hand … reaching out to any and every person struggling with depression within himself/herself for various reasons. Maybe they can find a common factor … maybe they can find some answers …


It is a story which tries to bring together several different challenges and issues that the typical teenager/youth faces today ... which could eventually lead to suicide or at least suicidal tendencies which ultimately mess up their lives and their thinking ability. (The key here is ‘messing up with their thinking ability’)

Love, Sex, Drugs, Sexual orientation/preference, Gay/Lesbian, child abuse, rape, freedom to lead one’s life unshackled by family as well as society norms and moral standards, peer pressure, FB/Twitter impact on lives, complying and not complying to societal norms, Voyeurism, online/real-life abuse as well as online/real-life bullying, hacking - not just email or other online accounts but mobile devices etc ... and so on and so forth … the list is very looong.


You might wonder how were so many things were dealt with in a single story. It would be overwhelming. It might become a preaching book rather than novel or a story.

Well, that did not happen. The story is well woven and well written.

 


Now for some warning: You need to have a certain maturity to read and understand and appreciate the thoughts and ideas expressed in the story. If you don't ... then you will end up hating the book and think that it is utter nonsense. On the other hand, reading the book gives you some level of maturity to understand and appreciate other people and their differences. So it’s kind of a loop here. Read it with an open mind and keep it open ... don't clam up at the first sight of something that you don't agree with. Agree to disagree and continue.


I would readily recommend the story to anyone.

 

Special note: You can read the story for free ... its online .. on a website ... BUT there is more than the story.

 

There are very interesting illustrations / drawing / sketches to enhance your story reading experience. And they are really very good. They are illustrative of the story and the turmoil. Wish I had a little artistic vocabulary so that I could describe the work. I will stick to ‘fabulous’ ... The various 'fabulous' imagery you see in this review post is actually from the book's website. These are chapter openers / headers and there are additional illustrations within too. Just a quick scroll/skim through the post and you will see not only the beauty of the illustrations but also the visual concept behind them and you will surely wonder about their relevance to the story. TRUST me, they are relevant ... the  elephant as well as the Devil as well as the face represented in multiple colors.

There is also audio version of each chapter that you can listen to.


And the biggest difference is that for each chapter you have something called "How Do I?" section which will give the reader tips on how to deal with situations (and not get into the state of suicidal tendencies). This is really the focus or the key aspect of this whole project.


Kudos to the entire team who has put this whole thing together - the author being just one member. Had support from the web designers, the artist/illustrator for the sketches supporting the story, the content developer for the 'how do i' sections, the very impressive promo video and audio version creators and others. Big congratulations to them all - you have really created a very good piece of art / literature.

 


Some personal thoughts:

Har Ek Friend Zaruri Hota Hain – Yes. It is extremely important to have a friend. Someone you trust and can confide in. You may be extrovert or introvert – it doesn’t matter. Making friends has nothing to do with being extrovert. Its about finding a person you can relate to and match your frequency with. Go … find that one person. Talk to him/her and confide. They are your ‘straw’ when you feel drowned in emotions and thoughts. Having someone to share your thoughts is something that will definitely keep you away from suicidal thoughts to a great extent.



Priorities – get your priorities right buddy. Life is very precious and there are far more important things and people than a grade, results, career performance, girlfriend/boyfriend, peer pressure, being cool etc. When you feel suicidal, you are under-valuing your parents, your own life and all your friends and people who love you or who care about you. You are undermining their feelings for you and their trust in you. Suicide is almost NEVER the answer or solution to any problem or situation. It is a permanent and fatal solution to a temporary problem or situation. Just not worth it. And worst of all, you don’t even survive to see if this ‘solution’ worked. And never forget the pain and hurt you will cause to all the people who love you and care about you. Do you really want to do THAT?

Peer Pressure – this one is a perceived issue and NOT a real one. Just protect yourself from this one and don’t fall for it. It will trouble you in many many different ways … just guard yourself against it. Don’t fall for it.


Last but not the least, I will borrow from my dear friend Dr.Roshan where his great advice to you … the friend to another person … is to say something like “See you tomorrow” or “See you soon” to your friends. Especially if you find they are not in a good mood or worse in depression or suicidal emotions. Those simple words could in some ways force them to keep themselves alive so that they can keep the implicit promise of seeing you again. You will never know if this worked but what the heck, you don’t lose anything by keeping it in mind.

Back to Book Review and my rating for the book ...
Ratings on Book Review Parameters:
Cover Design:  5.0 / 5   .... includes the rating for all the illustrations
Writing Style:  4.5 / 5 
Characters:     4.0 / 5
Story / Plot:    4.5 / 5
Climax:            4.0 / 5
Overall:           4.5 / 5

All the images in the post are from the website - http://www.storyofasuicide.com/ - of the book and are created by Ghana !! FABULOUS work.   


Friday, August 05, 2016

Book Blast - The Conspiracy at Meru by Shatrujeet Nath


The Conspiracy at Meru
(Vikramaditya Veergatha # 2)





VICTORY IS TEMPORARY. THE BATTLE IS ETERNAL.

Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?






The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.
But was the Halahala truly destroyed?
A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.
As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!
A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.



About the Author
Door-to-door salesman, copywriter, business journalist & assistant editor at The Economic Times; Shatrujeet Nath was all this before he took to writing fiction full-time. He debuted with The Karachi Deception in 2013, followed by The Guardians of the Halahala and The Conspiracy at Meru, the first two books in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. At present, he is writing volume three of the series. Shatrujeet lives in Mumbai, but spends much of his time in the fantasy worlds of his stories.



Also by the Author:
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