From Where I See – A very personal viewpoint

According to the blurb, Ajay Yadav a practicing Anesthetist, Intensivist and Pain Specialist whose text book of Anesthesia  is widely used  among undergraduate medical students in India, Africa and South East Asia. 

  • Paperback: 403 pages
  • Publisher: LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd (2015)
  • Language: English

Nagma is dead. She has committed suicide. Nagma’s husband calls Dr. Ajay Yadav to tell him of this fact but there is no suicide note. The police suspect foul play and Dr. Yadav has been summoned to the station as part of the investigation. Why did Aslam, Nagma’s husband call up the doctor? 
Going back, we discover that Ajay Yadav and Nagma were childhood friends back in the day when Nagma was known as Shurti. Ajay christens Shurti as Shruti ( giving a lame excuse that she sounded like his aunt of the same name) a name she adopts as a Fine Arts Student studying sculpture. A chance meeting with Shruti’s brother rekindles the friendship the two had shared as children, growing up in the village. Shruti falls in love with Aslam and is renamed once again as Nagma by her in-laws. 

Neither Shruti nor Ajay seem to have great marriages with both their spouses constantly travelling and it isn’t long before the two of them meet  regularly -9 times in two months to be precise. Whenever they meet Shruti unburdens herself to Ajay. Ajay not only listens but offers her advice which makes up the major part of the book. Not only does Ajay address relationship issues but he also touches upon social problems like caste, class, religion and the other ills that plague our country. In fact, Ajay addresses every issue that plagues this nation including a history lesson delivered at a party to celebrate our nation’s Independence. This by far was the most tedious stretch of the entire book though at times it did stir some curiosity and interest. 

Sadly, these truths are delivered in pathetic language that is mediocre and actually leave the reader yawning with its didactic, self-righteous tone. The narrative itself is dull, lacklustre and uninspiring looking remarkably like Hindi rendered in English.

Frankly if it weren’t for the hook of finding out what happened to Nagma/Shruti ( and the fact that I had to review this book) I would have gladly abandoned this very tedious tome.

  • To be happy in life; you have to learn this art. There is always an alternative, nothing is final.
  • Men who fail in life have only one safe place to vent their frustration and show their power, their wives.
  • People persuading conversions directly or indirectly are always a threat to humanity
  • True friendship is not about thinking of your loss, it is about thinking of your friend’s benefit
  • Isn’t’ it shameful that the legal system which should prevent the people from harassment becomes a source of harassment?the time has come when people of this country need to know ‘what is not their right’
  • we all are the victims of conflicts between our inborn natural instincts and rules of civilisation which are complicated by local social and religious dogmas
These are just some of the aphorisms that are peppered all over the place. 

Verdict: Very frankly, this book is an example of shoddy editing and poor narrative and can only be read under duress. The real mystery of Shruti’s death is neatly unravelled in the last few pages after one has paid the price of plodding through mediocrity. My apologies to the author for such a harsh criticism. 

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Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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