Posts Tagged ‘The Shrink and The Sage’

The Man Who Tried to Remember
Markand Sathe | Penguin | Rs 399

The book starts with the protagonist, an economist of repute, Achyut Athavale finding himself in an institution – ‘manorangashram’ – that’s neither a prison nor a mental asylum. Athavale doesn’t like it. He wants to return to his prison cell. But his jailors and the society that wishes to protect him won’t let him. The story unveils through Athavale’s ruminations as he navigates his way through labyrinth of human memory, thought and action, “What is cognizance?” he asks at one point. If reality is constructed by collective beliefs and ritualistic practices, how does one accommodate individual memory? Isn’t your memory different from mine? Beautifully written. Wise.


Sweet Sixteen
Vibha Batra | Penguin Young Adult | Rs 199

It won’t be an exaggeration to admit, that Indian English teenage fiction promoted by Indian publishers differs little from what is being dished out by writers in England or the US. The only difference is probably the setting and of course, the characters. In Sweet Sixteen, Batra tells the story of 16-year-old Rinki Tripathi who finds herself separated from her best friends, uprooted from Delhi and shifted to not New York or London, but Chennai. Fortunately, nothing is a tragedy for long. And nothing can stop Rinki from falling in love with a new place either.


The Shrink and the Sage
Julian Baggini & Antonia Macaro | Icon Books | Rs 399

In this unusual self-help book, philosopher Julian Baggini and therapist Antonia Macaro encourage readers to scrutinize 20 potentially tricky spheres of life such as happiness, goals, emotions, self-love, status and regret. They do this with the help of Aristotle. “His work is a rare find when it comes to questions of how to live,” say the authors in the introduction to this cerebral book adding that “Although he wrote two thousand years ago…his understanding of being human is more insightful and relevant than many modern theories.” The book is written in two voices, that of a philosopher and a shrink.

(An edited version of the above reviews appeared in the Sunday edition of the Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 22 July 2012)

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