Manat – Book Review


मानसशास्त्र हा असा विषय आहे ज्याच्यावर एवढी वर्षे दुर्लक्ष होत होते. पण जसजसा काळ बदलला, जीवनशैली बदलली तसे याला महत्त्व मिळत गेले. मला मानसशास्त्राविषयी खूपच ओढ. लोकांच्या नकळत त्यांचे बोलणे, त्यांचे हावभाव यांचे निरीक्षण करत असतो. एवढं असूनही या विषयावर कधी वाचन केले नाही.

मनात हे पुस्तक सामान्य माणसाला मानसशास्त्राची माहिती देण्यासाठी लिहिले गेले. मानसशास्त्राचे वेगवेगळे पैलू यात मांडले आहेत. भाषा रंजक ठेवण्याचा लेखकाने अत्यंत प्रामाणिक प्रयत्न केला आहे. पण सुरुवातीच्या काही प्रकरणानंतर तोचतोचपणा जाणवतो. प्रत्येक प्रकरण एकाच साच्यात घालून तयार केले आहे असे वाटते. मधल्या पानांत तर मानसशास्त्र सोडून मानसशास्त्रज्ञांच्या जीवनाविषयी जास्त पाने खर्च केली आहेत. यामुळे सुरुवातीला आपले लक्ष वेधून घेणारे हे पुस्तक नंतर नंतर कंटाळवाणे होऊ लागते. असे असूनही या पुस्तकात मानसशास्त्राविषयी प्रचंड माहिती दिली आहे. जवळपास या विषयाचा संपूर्ण इतिहास संक्षिप्त स्वरूपात मांडला आहे.

ज्यांना मानसशास्त्राची आवड आहे त्यांच्यासाठी हे पुस्तक एक पर्वणीच. बाकीच्यांना हे कंटाळवाणे वाटण्याची संभावना आहे. वाचायचं ठरवलंच तर हळूहळू वाचा. कारण यात घेण्यासारखे खूप काही आहे.

Paradise Lost and Regained – Book Review

Once in a while there comes a book which alters the way you think. It gives you insights and hope and a fresh perspective towards life. Towards everything. A few years back, The Alchemist did this to me. And then The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And now this one. I got this book as a giveaway some two years back and I never thought of reading it. It was my foolishness or maybe it wasn’t the right time for me to read this book.

The story is quite simple. It is about a deer who lives in forest in the beginning before it is captured and taken to the zoo. From there, the deer escapes and gets back to the forest only to find a new way to look towards the forest, towards the life that’s ahead. It’s perspective towards life in forest before the zoo and after the zoo will take you by surprise. As you read the book, chapter by chapter, the story engulfs you and soon you replace yourself with that deer.

Every chapter in this book is a take on different stages of our life. The beginning, the childhood, the teenage, the maturity, the old age. Life lessons which have a potential to change someones life, are rendered smoothly. The language used complements the subject very well and makes it easy to take the insights. My favorite chapters were those where the author has commented on the negative emotions that persists and the adverse effect of those emotions. Though many a times these emotions tend to give a dark shade to the book. But you’ll have to ignore it to understand what the author i really trying to convey.

Buy. Beg. Borrow. Steal. But read this book. You will not regret.

A Man Called Ove

“Sonja said once that to understand men like Ove and Rune, one had to understand from the very beginning that they were men caught in the wrong time. Men who only required a few simple things from life, she said. A roof over their heads, a quiet street, the right make of car, and a woman to be faithful to. A job where you had a proper function. A house where things broke at regular intervals, so you always had something to tinker with.”

I couldn’t start with anything else to review this book. This one paragraph pretty much sums up those two characters. Whatever they do in this book, good or bad, it’s because of this. One peculiar thing about Ove is that he never liked someone. He just disliked a little less. 

This book is a love story. A story about friends. A story about neighbors. A story about how simple things matter in life and how they shape up ones life. It’s a story about a man called Ove and his wife Sonja. Their love story forms the crux of this book. It spread in between the chapters and not continuous. Because of this, Every other chapter, I had to pause. Those words choked me and flooded my eyes. It breaks your heart. The very next chapter made me go ROFL. A roller-coaster ride which ends somewhere in the second last chapter. 

I tried to find flaws in this book. I couldn’t. Maybe because of the love story I overlooked them. Maybe it’s really well written. The characters in this book are weird and crazy. Ove will remind you of a Pixar movie “Up” and a TV show “Monk”. The Others easily stand out from the crowd. Their craziness, their foolishness, their stupidity, their love keeps you engrossed in the story. You wish that such characters were around you.

I wished there was more. More of Ove. 

When My Friend Slapped Me

It was a dark night. Clock on my table telling me it’s 1:00 am. In past few months, this is my normal time to go to sleep. Especially after I was addicted to twitter. Thanks to my BSNL connection, I found a cure to this addiction. The positive side of sleeping late is that you fall asleep almost instantly. Otherwise I have to start a playlist of some selected “slow” songs.

Moments later I hear a sound of door being opened. Nah.. This can’t be. I make sure all doors and windows are closed before lying on bed. That’s because I hate to get up for any reason after that. Another sound of something falling on floor. I could hear my heart pumping blood. I switched on the night lamp. I saw my book shelf open and a book on the floor. That book started walking towards me. It jumped from the floor to my bed. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Totally shocked. My eyes and mouth open.
Book: Close your mouth. You have bad breath.
Me: (Closed my mouth) But I brushed three hours back.
Book: Then you don’t know to brush properly.
Me: look who is talking? A book with no teeth.
Book: Don’t argue with me. You are not good at arguing. And I have not come to give lessons on personal hygiene.
Me: Then what for?
Book: Do you remember me? Recognize me?
Me: Of course. You are the reason for my reading habit. The book that first changed my way of looking at the gray scale life.
Book: Did you forgot what you promised to yourself?
Me: What promise? Promises are meant to be broken.
Me: What the heck!! How dare you slap me?
Book: I have the right to do so. Now.. Do you remember your promise?
Me: Yes. I promised to myself that I’ll read at least two books a month. No excuses.
Book: Good. Then why you broke your promise? You haven’t read any book for last five months. You had a lot of spare time in these months.
Me: I couldn’t find a good book to read.
Book: (Another Slap) From when you started judging books? No book is good or bad. What matters is you take something from the book. Every book offers that “something”. Read a book you haven’t read. That’s all you have to do.
Me: Things have changed my friend. I cannot concentrate like I used to. Every time I start reading a book my mind starts exploring another world.
Book: And that is the reason you need to read books. You stopped trying and you have started giving up
easily. I cannot let that happen to you. I have just slapped you twice but if needed I’ll give you more.
Me: Ok. Ok. I understand. You could have explained that to me without slapping.
Book: I could have. But you don’t understand until you are slapped. Now I’ll go back to shelf. But I’ll return if you don’t keep the promised. This time I’ll come with “Theory of Structure – Ramamrutham”. Imagine him slapping you.
Me: OMG! I won’t forget this time. But just tell me one thing before you leave. Is this my imagination? Do I need a treatment or something? Coz look.. I am talking to a book.
Me: Everyone talk to books. What do you think they do when they are reading book? You call it reading but actually, you are talking to that book.
The book turns back. Jumps down to floor and again to the shelf. Door closes.

I pinched myself. It wasn’t a dream.