Sunday, April 27, 2014

Love, That Shit - Review

At one point or another, we’ve all said or heard someone say, ‘Life’s a bitch!’ and for the most part, they aren’t entirely wrong. We’ve all had that moment where we believe we’ve sussed out life and everything is going our way. Morning breaks and we slip our iPad under our arm as we head in to the toilet to conduct our daily ‘business’. Once done, we reach out to grab some soft, triple ply toilet paper except our fingertips are greeted by a rough, hollowed out piece of cardboard. Right there, that’s life. It’s you getting defecating on, while defecating.
'Love, That Shit!' (LTS) hopes to help you through the process of getting into, dealing with and even the aftermath of relationships.  While it offers a humorous take on some of the common episodes that invariably take  place in our lives, LTS also aims to provide a message and a unique look at certain situations. It highlights the importance of an individual’s mindset and perspective to help tackle the emotional and mental toll most relationships take on us.
Relationships don’t always flow as fluidly as the chapters of a book and it can be frustrating to have to read 87 pages to get to that message which speaks to you. LTS provides you with an alternative approach—you can simply read a chapter for its message before returning to your everyday life. In fact, you can even close your eyes, flick the pages and read the chapter that you land on. Think of LTS as a mix-tape; remember the excitement of popping it into your tape deck and not knowing what song was going to play next? With LTS, you don’t know what the next chapter holds for you; you can even fast-forward to a chapter without the need to know what was ‘played’ before! Imagine reliving that sense of mystery, excitement and discovery without the fear of the tape unspooling. 
The goal is that by the end of each chapter, you will not only realise that others are in the same boat too but would have hopefully obtained a new and more positive perspective on your situation through theirs—a funny Tiger Balm if you will. And before you embark on your ‘mix-tape’ escapade, just remember, at the end of the longest and darkest of nights, is always a new dawn. 

About the Author
Born in Africa, Chandru was raised between Nigeria, India and the UK. A columnist for the South Asian quarterly, Beyond Sindh, Chandru's first book, The Journey of Om (fic) was published in 2010 by Cedar Books. His short stories have been published in anthologies in China, India, US and UK. Chandru currently resides in London, UK with his wife and son.

We all know what love is, and yet we fail to understand it on so many occasions. Relationships start beautifully, and we are elevated to a world of bliss and happiness, only to stumble and fall at times. We feel scattered and lost, swept away in the sea of sorrow and guilt, not knowing what to do and how to do. It’s in moments like these that we need to deeply introspect on what could have been the result had we behaved in a different way. Relationships are good teachers, teaching us valuable lessons through chapters of hardships so that we are able to confront with the uncertainties that lie ahead. This fact is well illustrated by Chandru Bhojwani in his book ‘Love, That Shit.’

‘Love, That Shit’ revolves around the dynamics of a relationship, which moves through various phases. It’s easy to fall in love, but to sustain that feeling is a completely different ball game that requires lot of patience, perseverance and trust. But having said that, rationalism doesn't go hand in hand with love, and often in relationships heart rules the mind. We do not consider the effects of our action and reaction, and then regret later.

The book is divided into various chapters, dealing with topics that are often the problematic areas in a relationship. For instance, drunk dialing and its hazards isn't really a secret, but we can so easily fall prey to it. The author advises against it, saying that it would be best to have friends around who can stop one from drunk dialing as it’s a sure shot sign of an impending doom. Matrimonial pressure again is a common concern for many unmarried people, with family, relatives and friends often chasing them to know when they are going to tie the knot.

The book also provides an insight into how to know a person by carefully observing him or her. The Facebook and Twitter profiles do help, but just relying on them wouldn't suffice. The author points out the different categories of Mother-in-law and Father-in-law a person might come across in his quest for love and relationship, highlighting their characteristics and providing suggestion on how to deal with them in a humorous manner.

Humor in fact is a big plus point of this book. It isn't easy writing a self-help book, as too much wisdom may make it sound preachy, and the reader might prefer skipping a few pages. However, with ‘Love, That Shit’ that’s not the case. The author manages to make us laugh at places, turning it into a light-hearted read that’s based on a serious topic of relationship. And that’s where Chandru Bhojwani excels. Also, the characterization of ‘Anonymous Ravi’ was well thought of, and executed brilliantly. Ravi comes up with his own life experiences, the snippets and anecdotes making this book a fun and interesting read.

However, there are a few areas that needs improvement. The cover page, showing two pairs of feet facing towards opposite directions, indicating discord in a relationship, seems a bit dull, and a brighter cover would have made the package all the more beautiful. Secondly, often I felt that the focus is mainly on the male perspective of a relationship. I would have preferred point of view in respect to both the genders.

The book is crisp and suave, and does point out the mistakes one makes in love, and tries to answer queries that we have in our minds. This is a quick-read, and will surely keep you occupied for a few hours. This book isn't just about love, but also explores the nuances of life.

Title: Love, That Shit!
Authors: Chandru Bhojwani
Publisher: Om Books International
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Self-Help
No. of Pages: 144
Price: Rs 195
My Rating: 4/5