Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul at Work is a book of 101 stories of Entrepreneurship & Creativity at the Workplace | Jack Canfiled, Mark Victor Hansen & Juhi Rai Farmania | Chennai: Westland |2011 | Rs. 295/-
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is my first interaction with the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, a set of books I was always skeptical about from the beginning; I’ve never bought a copy to date, a personal bias as it is the genre of self help books, so when an opportunity came to try my hand at reading it to know what it entails, I clicked on the blogadda review button. That in short is how I got hold of this book and started reading it.
As the snippet goes, the book has 101 stories divided into 13 sections with respect to the specific areas for the Indian or any working soul. This demarcation is helpful for a reader as they can choose which section is relevant to them and make a mental note as to how to read the book. Therefore, directional in reading.
Narrative wise, it is linear so to speak, a reader can start from the cover and end at the blurb. However, a better way to read it, is try your luck – remove the book mark (hope all of you use bookmarks, Flipkart gives you reasons for their use always ) and open randomly at a page; you’ll find a story– the end or the beginning (rarely does a story in this collection cross 3 sides) and then direct yourself, that’s what a couple of my friends (and I) did when they saw this book lying on my table this last one week. It takes hardly 5 minutes to finish a tale and move on to the next, therefore, reader friendly and a page mover … in a matter of 10-15 minutes, we would have finished quarter of the book! And this is no exaggeration.
The stories are short, they are easy reading — when I say easy, I mean you can read them anywhere, without putting a thought to them, straight from the heart, and uncomplicated… (no reading between and beyond the lines skills required), but relatable (hence, quotidian in theme), because we would have faced such incidents in ours or others lives. They are life experiences, “small miracles that attract readers” (Farmania, from the Editor’s note to this book) as written by or narrated to people, all deriving optimistic waves from the incidents and transferring them on to a reader.
Observation: The books looks loosely epistolary in structure. There is no direct address to the reader, however, the names of the writers of the piece is at the end, and in italics.
I happened to read many of the stories in the bus yesterday, and in an hour I was done with as many as 15 stories.
Nevertheless, each story gave an impulse to live, it was a window to somebody else’s lived experience, a problem and a solution that came out of a practical situation and how they solved it with help from within them, family, friends & strangers. Therefore, for me on a personal note, reading the stories was akin to watching a film with a happy ending.
Recommended, of course, but not my type of book. I need some more meat to chew in a book… the self help books and
movies such as Zoya Aktar’s second venture “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – I have similar issues with them.”
Here goes, my mini chicken soup for the soul series
- Live every moment
- Do not wait for a self-help book or a life changing incident in your life or a movie to know that every moment is precious,
- procrastinating the good times for a later time in life is useless
- Live the moment, take time out for your loved ones now – it is your time they need
- Take out at least 10 minutes everyday for yourself – your body, mind and soul- to refresh and work better, it always starts with you …
- Know your priorities
- Just because society has made stereotypes, roles and rituals do not follow them, know them see whether you fit in, make little customised changes- that’s how life works
- Believe me, if you think you don’t have time to do something, then it translates into you do not want to do it, otherwise if it is something you really want to do, you will always find time to do it
- And never ever consider any work or person insignificant, never ever think that a person is only one shade
Rules that drive me to live life in Pinash