Book Review: It’s Your Life

Book Review: It's Your Life

Reflections on contemporary living and relationships’ – the tagline that accompanied this book of collected essays said more about the content than anything else. Having been a Times of India subscriber since it began publishing a few years ago in my city, I have gone through Ms. Nangia’s columns in the special glossy Sunday Times supplement, Times Life. The short essays usually featuring in the second page of the issue seemed to be focusing on either a topic that was currently trending or a perpetually interesting, much debated issue. So it was natural curiosity over which of those articles became the chosen ones that made me pick this book up.

The book is a collection of 70+ essays that were chosen from a column that had a steady fan following. The topics ranged from the quintessential existential who am I to the much more abstract ‘Of course Tansen could make it rain’. Each one of the 70 odd pieces had the writer’s unique take on relationships, self discovery and most importantly, absolving the self of guilt. While there seems to be no particular order in which these were chosen out of the ones published, one can be sure that each gives off a surely unique flavour. The criteria used to choose the best of O zone would probably be the remarks and the response the writer got from the various readers the weeks they were first published.

It is said that for any story/ book/ essay, the title is one of the most important things because that is what the readers see first. An attractive title goes places in making people read the accompanying content. And in the modern age, the quirkier the title, the more interesting the article becomes. Ms. Nangia has surely got the hang of this art, making sure each of her pieces has a title that makes people want to read further. Some stellar samples include Dodge that guilt trap, The Devil’s in the detail, Creative destruction, Perfect is boring. The titles try to give away as much and as little as possible.

For those readers who religiously followed the writer’s corner in the Times of India issues, this book will be like revisiting those memories and might, probably, include some of their favourites. For those who are reading this book afresh, these will give you a different perspective on things you have known. The essays are mainly focused on simple life issues and often turn into bits of advice that could be used as applicable.

The writer has veered towards the modern style of writing, putting across whatever she meant to say in simple words, in tune with the current society. The language is also fairly simple, with no big words and no technical jargon. The phrases are not disjointed and whatever has been written has been done so in a clear, easy to understand style.

The book has essays collected from the column and therefore has its share of advantages and disadvantages. It has already been published. Those who have read the column can buy this book and refresh their memories. Those who are not subscribers of the paper but are still intrigued to read this wouldn’t be finding anything path breaking or motivating like a self help book. There is no common theme except ‘life’. The book is not expected to lead you to a point of greatness by giving you tips on how to improve your life. It is a book about life itself, in the little things that make you think about everything you see, sometimes from a different angle.

This book is a good collection of a person’s thoughts on modern day life, written in a simple, straightforward manner. Nothing more and nothing less.

Title:  It’s Your Life
Authors: Vinita Dawra Nangia
Publisher/ Imprint: Times Group Books
Pages: 270
Genre: Non-Fiction/Essays
Rating: 3.75 of 5
Reviewed forThe Tales Pensieve Pick of the month

Read the reviews of other books rated 3 stars by Team TP HERE