Book Review: Principally Yours


Principally Yours is a piece of nonfiction narrated by Bubloo Sen about her experience of teaching and moulding many lives to bring about positive changes in the society around her. Revolution can come from any sphere and in any size. What matters is the intention behind it and the result. This book is one such story of a mini revolution brought about in the lives of the economically challenged Jewish and Muslim students of an underprivileged school in Bombay during the 70s, who were living a miserable life in squalor and poverty. It wasn’t an easy task given the odds, but Bubloo Sen, despite her petite frame and genteel ways, had a steely resolve and a charismatic disposition. She took under her wings her students enveloping them in the bonds of love and harmony all the while instilling in them pride and a firm belief that unstinting effort and commitment is all that is needed to re-write one’s script in life.

Reading this one reminded me of another book I had read long ago, ‘To Sir, With Love.’ It was one of the most remarkable and impacting books I read as a student. I found Principally Yours equally motivating especially now that I am a teacher myself.

The issues covered in this book are real to date and poignantly relevant. Mrs. Sen has written an autobiography so sumptuous with its many life teachings – making the book really one of those that is bound to change your outlook towards life. The book’s life lessons are many; the most profound being – respect begets respect. Against all odds Mrs. Sen taught her charges to expect the very best from life so that even in depravity they could hold their head high and walk down the aisle of life with dignity. This book teaches us that even those who seem most undeserving of anything deserve to be given a chance and be treated with respect.

The incidents narrated in the book took place in the 70s and we readily get a glimpse of that era. Through her writing Mrs. Sen really paints the picture of what the school she was teaching at was like and about the students. I was immediately grabbed in and brought along for the ride. The writing style is a no-frill affair and hence easy to read and enjoy. The narrative structure is less academic and more like a story. The cover is a beautifully rendered – a watercolour composition that has its own charm. What you are holding in your hands is Mrs. Sen’s thirty five years of faith and hope sandwiched within the pages. Hers is an exemplary life from which each of us can pick a leaf and follow suit.

An excellent read that I would highly recommend.

Title : Principally Yours
Publisher/ Imprint: Authors Upfront
Pages: 155
Genre/ Sub Genre: Non-Fiction/ Memoir
Rating: 4.00 of 5.00
Reviewed for: The Tales Pensieve

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