Author: Girdhar Joshi
This is a story of a monk who was not a monk long back. He was a charming boy who, despite of a deprived childhood, grows to riches and achieves professional excellence by his grit and hard work. But before he realizes the designs of destiny, he finds himself struggling to find love, peace, and happiness; and ends up in losing relations after relations amid the compelling pressures of profession, passion, and maladjustment of life.
What made him to metamorphose into a life of a monk? And, was he happy being one? The story finely unravels the maze and finds answers.
The story unfolds in an interesting and witty manner, at times it is humorous, sentimental, and emotional.
The blurb and the cover gives a feeling that this book would be something spiritual or on the lines of the monk who sold his Ferrari, but it’s not.
The book starts with one direction song lyrics “Same Mistakes”, which, is what Girish, the protagonist of the book keeps on doing. I found Girish’s character quite irritating, like he expects his wife to be a certain way, and when that does not happen, he starts being irritated. In his first marriage, he wants an working girl who contributes to the family expenses, who would also cook for him, maintain his house as well as welcome him home when he comes from work. He gets irritated and aloof when his wife does not fulfil his expectations, and if she states her expectations, he just classifies it as “Nagging”. In his second marriage, he has the same expectations except he now goes for an illiterate girl from a village who is much younger, and then keeps calling her “Stupid”, and again whenever she asks him for anything, calls it “Nagging”. The problem was he listened to the entire world’s advice except listening to those he should have listened to, his wife and children.
He has this rosy picture in his mind on how his family and people close to him should act, and when they do not, he gets frustrated. He believes he does everything for his wives and kids, but he does the things he thinks his wife and kids want, not the things his wife and kids actually want.
But the thing to note here is that there are too many people in real life like Girish, who listen to society, to friends, to neighbours and NOT to the person they should listen to.
Even Girish’s expectations from the marriage is not uncommon. Being in the arranged marriage market myself, I have come across guys who want a ‘modern, independent girl’ who does all that he tells her to do without opening her mouth, or ‘a career woman’ who puts in full hour shifts in office and then comes home to prepare food while he comes home and watches sports/news to relax and wait for dinner, coz you know, he’s tired after working in the office and real men do not cook.
This book cleverly charts out how a person can ruin a perfectly good relation due to preconceived notions of how their partner should be instead of accepting them for who they are.
I loved the character of Girish’s nani, who toils alone and facilitates his studies when his own father gave up. Such a strong woman, toiling in the fields all day is no mean feat!
(I thank Girdhar Joshi for sending me the autographed copy of this book via Goodread’s first reads program)