30 March 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

Insomnia - Fighting A Lone Battle!

2054th BLOG POST

None of us talk a lot about our nights. We talk about waking up early, doing morning routine, traveling for work, spending day at office, traveling back to home, spending time with family, working on our side hustle if there’s any and then going for the much-needed sleep. But my issue starts after this. The days are almost the same for all of us - the way we have created our modern lifestyle where we have to earn penny in order to survive on this planet- get food on our plates and fulfill our dreams. This is a set template where the only difference is that all of us do different kind of work and earn different amount of money as per our talents, skills and strengths. You can keep on fighting and competing with your friends, peers, colleagues and anyone on the horizon but the routine will remain to be the same. There are very few professions who have their day routine quite distinct and different from this template but otherwise, it’s all same.


My problem starts from the time I am done with my day and get ready to lie on the bed to sleep. It is then that every cell of my body starts getting restless. It makes me realize that even though I have had a satisfactory day where I have performed all my tasks and I am quite cool about my present day or moment, but there’s something in the subconscious mind which makes it difficult for my body and mind to even think that I can get a proper sleep. So, I remember- Earlier, I would get down on bed, play an instrumental music for 5-10 minutes in a very low volume and find my thoughts speeding down. It would be an indication that my system has realized that it’s night and it should allow my body to go into the switch off mode for next 7-8 hours. I would then turn off the music and would never remember when I fell asleep. Such good times!


Now, the issue is – since I didn’t get a good sound sleep from more than 30 months now, I become very conscious when I get ready to sleep. In fact, the condition is that I know that I can never plan my sleep because it does 100 things to my brain. I don’t know if it’s a psychological defect or some sort of mental health that needs to be medically treated. Now I lie down and find myself pressing my eyes so hard as if I am forcing sleep to arrive from somewhere and get into my body. I didn’t realize this earlier but from last few weeks, I am able to reflect while closing my eyes that it’s not a normal calm posture. Everything is stiff at that point of time. It is like I am aware of how I am making my hands and legs believe that they are tired and need to drop down. I am making my face be in a certain position on the pillow so that it can also be fooled that it’s sleeping. My eyelids are pressed so tightly that I realize about all this false posture I have been in after eyes start paining.


It becomes difficult to sleep after that. I keep on turning right and left, changing my directions, turning on music, turning off music, drinking water, going to washroom, changing fan speed, throwing away bedsheet and then again searching for it and what not. It becomes such a scary situation that I find that I have been lying down on bed since hours and yet I am not sleepy. I start chanting mantras then I sit for meditation then I remember all the good times – but all in vain. At last, I get up and pop in a melatonin pill and wait for another few minutes for it to work but I think body has become immune of it. I then think of picking up that bloody instrument called mobile but my body gives an alarm that you can’t do something that’s completely not going to make you feel sleepy at all.


I know I have come down a very huge mountain of bad phase but the pain that it has caused to my body and mind will keep it sore for some more days and will keep on haunting me for some days. I am aware of all of this. My problem is that I am completely okay mentally during the day time but what happens suddenly when it’s only about finding a good sleep? Why is everything making it difficult for my body and mind to take a good rest to feel repaired and fresh after a new sun rises tomorrow morning? How far will I have to suffer to get a long streak of good sleep cycle to make me feel fresh and delighted when I wake up in the morning? Every morning feels like I have woken up with a small burden of yesterday. When will I open my eyes in the morning with a good smile on my face and see a new day as a new day? Why am I not being subjected to a normal night routine? What is my fault? What wrong have I done? There are so many questions but no answer. I know that even tonight, I’ll close my eyelids involuntarily by pressing it tightly and realizing after few minutes that this is not how it should be shut for sleeping. It should be automatic and not forced. Huh!





29 March 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

Being Good Enough by Rohini Paranjpe Sathe (Book Review: 4.75*/5) !!!

2053rd BLOG POST

8th Book of 2023


It has been a while since I have not read many fiction books hence, I thought of picking few of them before getting back to non-fiction and self-help books. The 2nd book that I read in a row is Rohini Paranjpe Sathe’s “Being Good Enough”. This 214-pages book is not just a book but I must say it’s a therapy. Yes! This is one of the most well-written works I have read recently and I am guilty enough to say that it was in my shelf for two years and I don’t know why I didn’t pick it up until now. The story is about a girl named Jyoti who has unintentionally walked on a path which has broken every rule set up by her parents in the name of patriarchy and religion. She is been tortured, harassed and suppressed at home and it results in awkward and horrible actions from others even outside. She goes through a traumatic experience continuously but she still doesn’t lose her strength in the process.


The story is very courageous and there are times when you would want to cry out loud due to the traumas the protagonist is going through. At times, you want to shout at her for making decisions she knows will hurt her later. Her dilemmas when she becomes a mother whether she should share about her past with her son or keep it hidden makes you feel pit in your stomach. I am a boy but I could still empathize with her character completely. Rohini’s writing is very solid and commanding. She knows how to drive her narration to make the reader be with the story. Throughout while I was reading, I felt that I was transferred to another world altogether. Every time I kept the book aside, I would find hard to come back in my own world. I know this sounds exaggerated but that’s the zenith level of writing caliber I am trying to convey.


Author’s command on the language is powerful as this is one of the perfect books to understand how to use great vocabulary and do justice with English grammar. Even the way author starts the book without disclosing past of Jyoti which initially confuses you a bit but eventually things start becoming clearer as you are taken into flashbacks. All of this is executed so seamlessly that even when you are jumping timelines, you don’t feel getting mixed up or disconnected with another timeline at all.


Author has used many philosophical elements while explaining us about her protagonist’s mindset as well as through the conversations between important characters. There are many long paragraphs in the book which might make your reading experience little difficult but when I was thinking where author could have broken the paragraph to make them shorter, I couldn’t find one reason why it should have been shorter. There are questions on life, God, religion, patriarchy, cities, death, spirituality, gender, siblings, same-sex love etc. but none of them sounds preachy or forced. All of them are part of characters’ situation which makes it hard for you to disagree with unconventional thoughts that author wants you to ponder upon.


The story will make you smile and cry. The whole section and chemistry between Jyoti and Aman is such a beautiful part in this book that without it, the book would not have been half as good as it is. The way Jyoti’s father and brother tries to push her down against her will tells us a lot about how our society is formed where females are sometimes, tortured in the name of protection. How some men are too horrific to handle are portrayed through the characters of Rathore and Sameer. Every time, I would read their name and Sooraj (Jyoti’s brother), I would get so angry that I could feel short-breathiness even while knowing that I am reading a fiction story. The role of Jyoti’s mother and mausi are so nicely portrayed that even though they have very less part to play but they tell you a lot about our society and women of previous generation. Kudos to author for justifying a dysfunctional family so perfectly.


The climax of the book finally gives the satisfaction that I was waiting for. I am glad that I had a smile at the end rather than another sprint of tears forming in my eyes. Though, after keeping the book aside, I had tears of happiness. As I said in the starting paragraph, this is not just a book but a therapy. All of us go through enough pain in life but when we read a story of this kind, we understand what real pain is. I could very well relate Jyoti’s character with that of Sushmita Sen’s in the web series- Aarya. It’s almost the same journey where a lady goes through a pain again and again after finding a ray of hope which vanishes immediately after it appears. If you liked that series, this book is even better. I give this book 4.75* out of 5. Please go for it!



This review is powered by Blogchatter Book Review Program




24 March 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

The Drifting Stones by Anis Bari/Nilay Bipul (4*/5) !!!

2052nd BLOG POST

7th Book of 2023


Well, sometimes National Holidays are really fruitful when you wake up on time and spend the whole day with your favorite act of reading book. I got a mid-week off for the celebration of Gudi Padwa and I found it a perfect opportunity to pick a 320-pages book named “The Drifting Stones” written by Anis Bari and Nilay Bipul. It has been published by Partridge publication. The book basically talks about two main protagonists named Ayaan and Malay right from their college days till their initial professional life. The book also discovers how their friendship changes with time and how life takes a complete turn and changes your overall personality with the kind of responsibilities it starts giving you.


Talking about the writing style, I must say that the book is written in a very simple language which helps you read with fast pace. It’s an easy read. I was able to complete it’s 320+ pages within two sittings itself. Initially, it’s little difficult due to multiple characters for you to pace up but once the characters are developed and you are able to relate with them, you are able to enjoy your reading journey. The book has been spoken in the first voice of both the main protagonists giving their version of their life’s important events. This is a fictional account but while reading you can sense it very well that it has been inspired by the real-life events because there’s few scenes which will make you question why they’re part of the story whereas no scene has been exaggerated. It gives you a sense that you are reading almost biographical accounts of few real people known by the authors or may be, their own story itself.


The book starts with narration of how the college life is and how folks enjoy during the course of 3-4 years without worrying about their future. It speaks about the kind of bond boys develop among themselves that they’re ready to do anything for each other. Through this story, authors also try to throw light upon the fact regarding how tough it is to get into a good college due to our education system. It tells about the pressure that a student goes through when everyone around them including family, family friends and relatives are tracing them to know update about their success in board exams or what college they got admission in. Maximum youths will be able to relate with this section.


Later on, when the professional life begins for the characters involved, you get a gest of how things changes as soon as the college life gets over. Author highlights the fact regarding how the group of friends who would think no one can set them apart doesn’t stay in touch anymore. All the professional challenges as well as the dilemma between working on a start-up or corporate is signified appropriately. The trauma of not getting funds for your startup is discussed which throws a light upon how it’s not a cakewalk to begin a startup which today’s generation thinks is as easy as ordering a pizza online.


The book discusses relationships as well and most part of the 2nd half of the book is about it. Authors also get philosophical at places and I really liked those sections where life is being discussed by getting into the core of the human problems. You will get many quotes here to share in your Instagram stories. Haha! The story talks about break-ups, heartbreaks, emotional setbacks, divorces etc. I liked how authors were able to discuss divorce and our gender-biased laws where girls are favored more than boys. How a man has to end up paying heavy alimony for no fault of his. How laws are being misused and husbands and their family/friends are alleged of acts they never commit. Not many Indian authors have guts to speak about this legal extortion but kudos to Anis and Nilay for bringing this out through a small subplot.


Similarly, authors have been able to talk about various other topics such as organizational politics, work stress, work-life balance, media industry, ground reporting, IT industry etc. which will help you get a bit insight into all these areas.


Now, talking about the drawbacks- I was able to find couple of grammatical and spelling mistakes in the initial 100 pages of the book post which the frequency reduced immensely. I don’t know it got missed in the editing phase. Secondly, I felt that authors were thinking in Hindi and translating it in English while writing due to which many sentences aren’t effective and crisp. Thirdly, I felt that the book could have been summed up within 250 pages or even less as there aren’t much twists and turns for which a reader would stay interested for 320+ pages. The usage of Hindi every now and then is also a turn-off. Lastly, I believe there is lot that could have been done with the kind of characters authors had developed but the story remains plain and simple without much surprising elements except couple of them.


Overall, this is going to be very relatable for the college-going students and new working professionals. The book will resonate with the beginners as it is written in a very user-friendly language with 3-4 good characters who will stay with you even after putting the book down. I would rate this book somewhere between 3.75 and 4. Well, let’s round it off- 4 stars it is.






21 March 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

3 Years of Lockdown.. My Bad & Good Moments in Flashback!

2051st BLOG POST

There is one tough phase which will always remain common to all of us began 3 years back when the Prime Minister of the country announced lockdown in order to stop the spread of Coronavirus on the same day. Though it didn’t work out as the virus was stronger than us and eventually resulted in loss of many precious lives that none of us could have ever imagined. I remember that I had saved all my leaves for that financial year to travel to Ratnagiri in the March end of 2020. The trip, obviously, got cancelled but even my leaves turned into a non-paid ones and I received only 2/3rd part of my salary. Something which I didn’t like and it became the root cause of leaving the organization 2 months later where I had spent almost 5 years of my initial professional career.


Lockdown began as a great moment for me as I am quite a homely person so I got time to stay at home and spend time in reading books, spending time with my parents and helping my mother in household chores. Later, when I got access for WFH, life got little terrible but I continued my weight-loss activities at home and within a quarter- went from 78 kgs to 65 kgs i.e. Lost 13 kgs in the process. As soon as I started feeling healthy, the obvious happened – I got infected with virus quite severely which led me into getting unconscious while brushing my teeth one morning and then I found myself directly in the ICU of the isolation ward and stayed there for 8-10 days. It almost felt that I would not return back due to short-breathiness but God has been kind to my parents and all of you and I returned back. Ok Sorry! Even my father was admitted and got discharged before me. God bless him!


Just before this period, in the month of May when I resigned from my organization without having another job in hand, I think my father took it far more seriously and he suffered a minor heart-attack and got admitted for 7 days. It was quite tough traveling to hospital and staying there all day in midst of covid spreading in its full power. Somehow, all the medical issues were resolved in first 6 months and I got a new job which was going great and then our family got punched by another issue which took us around two years to fight and come out of it. It has been the 2nd toughest period of my life which led me towards extreme stress, fear and at times, depression of highest level. I turned insomniac and I am still fighting with it. I tried everything- anxiety doses, melatonin, sleeping pills, listening music, meditating but nothing gave me a good sleep. Somehow, now, I have started getting a better sleep but some nights are still tough.


This was the 1st time when I questioned my country regarding how safe it is for someone who is innocent but have to go through a useless process of proving it. Anyway, this is one experience which has taught me a lot about myself, my family and close family friends. In the toughest period, when you see only darkness ahead, it’s your family that stays by you and actually fight along with you. Others can only give you sympathy or motivate you to fight for yourself but family will take the bullets themselves on behalf of you. In our teenage and 20s, we feel that family is the only reason why we are so restricted in life but eventually only in our tough times we understand that even your best friends are just a tag but you will need your parents, siblings and very close relatives around you to finally get out of a bad phase. Some friends are still special and do more than relatives but these are rare cases and I had a couple of people who stood like family during this period.


Amidst all this, to refresh myself, I went on for a 3000-kms road trip to Jhansi, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Orccha, Datia, Indore etc. which made me understand a bit of history and great fighters who fought against big powers to save our nation, temples, monuments and what not. I stayed for 1.5 months at Jhansi – a city very different from Mumbai but it felt homely with the love of my inspirational chachiji, my siblings (with whom I bonded so strongly that even when I think about them now, I get emotional and find tears in my eyes) and their extended family as well. These 1.5 months at Jhansi have become such a reference point in my life that talking about any topic, I end up mentioning it because of it’s impact in my life. Then my sister came to stay with us in Mumbai for 2 months which was another beautiful phase as both of us cooked together, watched movies, traveled a bit, talked a lot, hugged a lot and shared many beautiful moments which will stay as one of the most pleasant experiences. May God bless her always!


It has been 3 years now and I am still working from home. This has made me spend so much time with myself and meet very less people that it helped me understand what I need from life and what not. It has given me the clarity which is helping me take tough decisions even today. Even I am surprised how I am able to take the routes which aren’t so friendly but I realize it’s essentiality for me to move ahead for my progress and betterment. I have understood how to use money and now I have stopped spending a lot on upgrading my mobile phones, eating outside, watching movies in theaters and other useless stuffs we buy just to impress others. I am comfortable with myself now. I know where I lack and I love spending time on getting those loopholes filled as soon as possible. I have become a lot patient which helps me to be okay if I don’t get instant results.


I now spend more time with myself, my family, extended family and finally, with my friends. Because this is the order in which people stay with you in your tough times. I have stopped chasing people who don’t contact me. I have reduced expectations from a lot of people. I am still working upon the same with few as I am very emotionally attached with them which hurts me because eventually being a human being, I end up hoping love in return – which is obviously not shown or given in return in the amount I aspire to receive. You know, human beings and their expectations, right? Haha! One another good thing to have happened during lockdown is the telecast of Ramayan which helped me get into my religious texts, learn a lot about Lord Ram, get admired and inspired by him and I regularly try to be as righteous as possible in all my conducts. Now, I feel ashamed of lot of acts I have done in my past. But it is said -Jab Jaago Tab Sawera so giving myself this benefit of doubt – I am trying to lead life following my Sanatan Dharm as much as possible.


Well, I just felt sharing my emotions on completion of 3 years of lockdown which took me in flashback and made me remember all- bad and good times. Bad before Good because they were more in quantity than good. Alas! I thank God that I didn’t lose any of my favorite and close people during this tough period and I have everyone with me even after the pandemic. What more should one ask for in life? Isn’t it? It has atleast made me and obviously, you, realize that nothing comes before our family because only when we realize that we might lose them, we understand their importance in our life which we don’t generally think due to extremely busy schedules. Well, I feel like writing more but it’s already 1300 words so let’s stop here. Haha!





17 March 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

Wonder Womaniya by Sohil Makwana (Book Review: 3.25*/5) !!!

2050th BLOG POST

6th Book of 2023

It has been some weeks since I read and talked about any book. I finally landed upon a book named “Wonder Womaniya” written by Dr. Sohil Makwana. Both- the title and the beautiful yellow-themed cover page of the book grasped my attention. The book is of around 206-pages published by the author himself. The book talks about the girl named Ambika who resides in Jhansi. She is very bubbly and joyful. She loves creating memes, sharing laughter, giving sharp-edged reply to others, being good at friendships, rejects boys’ advances in her own swag and what not. Suddenly, an event in her life changes the course for her. She becomes lonely and co-incidentally gets victim to a disease. How she converts her problems into a cause for spreading happiness is what this book basically talks about.


Talking about the author, Sohil, he has written a duology before Wonder Womaniya which has already been signed up for being adapted into a web-series. I haven’t got an opportunity to read it but this attempt is a simple and easy read which will help beginners get into reading. I liked how he based his story in a small-town so that maximum Indian crowd can relate with. I have myself stayed in Jhansi, where this story is based in, and could identify with many things author portrayed in the story. I just wished if Jhansi could have been described a bit more so that readers could understand what all the city provides- reason why we say books help us travel cities without actually traveling there.


The book is majorly written in both- English and Hindi hence you can’t call it and all-and-out English novel. This is more of a Hinglish attempt which I feel works at certain places but not everywhere. Sohil’s sense of humour and sarcasm is top-notch as there are many conversations and responses which are so sharp and witty that it could not have been possible for anyone lacking the funny bone to write it in the way it’s written currently. I am really impressed with how frequently author has been able to provide humour along with some dark side of it which makes you smile and laugh continuously.


The characterizations are nicely maintained where everyone is given a good description for you to relate with them. The major focus has been given to Ambika which helps you understand the protagonist and her state of mind quite well. I liked how author has developed character of a small-town girl quite strong and smart rather than portraying her a victim. The leap in the 2nd half is executed so well that many girls will find inspiration and solution through it. Sohil has integrated his domain knowledge of medical field very seamlessly in the story and converted it in a plot which lets you know about various kind of physical problems a woman has to go through. Author has ensured that he helps his readers understand the difficult terminologies and not get overwhelmed with the jargons.


Author has also tried speaking in favor of the girls/women in terms of the kind of challenges they have to deal with since their childhood right from eve-teasing, video leaks, lusty looks and remarks, uncomfortable stares, marriage issues, post-marital physical complications, non-co-operation from their partner and in-laws, judgment from society etc. He has almost been successful in speaking about all of these without sounding preachy except at few events.


The book is a short read and will not take you more than a sitting or two to complete it. You will enjoy the humor. You will relate with the cause that Dr. Sohil wanted us to address and empathize with. The story tells about how small-town girls can be strong enough to establish a movement without anyone’s support. The book also speaks about importance of good friendships and relationships in our life. The fragility of modern marriages is also been highlighted. The 2nd half is more powerful than the 1st half.


Talking about the drawbacks, I must say that over-usage of Hindi starts sounding cheesy after a point of time. Secondly, in writing the story from pro-women point of view, boys are regularly been shown in negative light which I believe author could have balanced by keeping few positive male characters too. There are couple of typos and mistakes in the book which could have been avoided. Except Ambika, the other characters could have also been involved majorly in the story. The climax sounds too filmy hence there are few scenes which sounds very over-the-top and you are not able to find them realistic.


Overall, this is a fine read. You will be remembered of the movie- Queen while reading the book. It gives you the same vibes. I give the book 3.5 stars out of 5.