Book: When I Fell in Love with Life
Author: Geetha Paniker
Publisher: Partridge Publishing India
Genre: Autobiography of a survivor, a personification of determination
In One Line: A book that is filled with words of wisdom, grit and determination for those who are in a state of self pity
Characterisation: It takes a lot of courage to stay positive during troubled times. Half the battle is won by those who do. It takes even more courage to relive the moments and put them into words for others to read. Geetha Panicker does that with aplomb. This book is about the writer’s own life. There’s no characterization here. It’s about her journey, her fight and her victory. It is the musings of a survivor. She writes in a way that’s almost therapeutic simply because she tells us how she got her life back after she hit rock bottom. The way she brings in the importance of nature, uses quotes, and ends each chapter with a poem; it fills the one reading with admiration. That’s powerhouse characterisation for sure!
Here’s my top three quotes from the book:
- No one sees the can in cancer
- It is easy to give in, to be defeated and to become a victim….But I dare to bear
- The most beautiful music in the world is your own heartbeat because it assures you that you have survived all the battles of life
Language: The writer not only pens down words that shout out with truth and sensitivity, the also writes simply so that all can understand. The book’s filled with words that bring a twinkle to your eyes, makes your throat choke with emotions and then gets the smile to dance on your lips. She really is a true survivor.
The best part about the read is that her writing does not make one feel pity, but it rejuvenates. Her work fills the reader with a sense of determination – and more so because it never gets preachy.
This is not a self help book. It is one on life and observations on it. And the writer does so beautifully because she stays humble throughout.
Plot Setting: Except the mention of the Adyar river in chapter 9 and Yercaud in chapter 37 of the book, I didn’t get to know where her story is set. But does it really matter when the protagonist is living a life battling radiations, falling hair and numbness of the hands?
Book Cover Art: The way the writer describes nature, be it the inverted images in raindrops, a magical sunset or the ballet of birds in the sky, it is but apt that a picture that’s symbolic of nature be on the cover page. And just when I was thinking where the picture came from, I read in the acknowledgement section that it was Arun’s. But why the star fish? why not a crab?
How’s the Title: It is a lovely title. It is heart warming, powerful, positive, courageous and uplifting. And so true because it is only when we fall in love with our life that we have the guts to stand strong even after the strongest tornado hits us.
Is The Blurb Catchy: The blurb promised to give me writing that would both be soulful and also honest. When I closed the book after reading through its entirety I can tell you that I got both. When something breaks from within, when something goes wrong, then the healing is never easy. Just reading someone’s writing or hearing someone’s words don’t heal. It’s an internal process. However, this book will surely give you words and thoughts that will linger with you for a long time. Like the blurb promises, you can hold onto them like straws when you are swimming in deep waters that make your breathing difficult.
Learning From The Story: If you are planning to write about your life you will have to have the courage to tell the world the entire truth. While it is easy to show strangers the strong side of you, revealing the vulnerability is not easy. If you can do the latter, you will be able to create honest writing.
Areas Of Improvement: 21 and chapter 57 are the same!
And this one’s not really an ‘AOI’, but a objection that my heart kept throwing back at me every time I read it. So here is my message to the writer, “Breasts are not the only symbol of feminism. Women are so much beyond that. Please, Ma’am, never think that you are any less of a woman. In fact you are more of one. You are the symbol of what women really stand for – a fighter till the end.
What Is ‘Said By Not Saying’: Life is a blessing. And it is a mystery. Neither can we take it for granted and neither can we give up. We should take whatever is thrown to us in our stride, no matter how tough it may seem to be.
My Reaction When I Finally Closed The Book: This one’s for your courage!
You might like to read: