When I received the mail from Kalyani with a request to review her book. I accepted as I had an over dose of mythology genre.
Title: Bend Your Knees and Do Your Best.
Author Kalyani .B.V.
Once in a while we come across an author who makes you want to pick the phone simply because the book could have a conversation between likeminded friends, which was what happened as I read the book. I could not put it down.
The whacky sense of humour, the candid presentation of situation it was amazing. There was so much I could empathize with like the way she arrives to “the God of Randomness.” Her staple of Amar Chitra Katha. Her usage of Raag Inkaar.
She has an Asura partner in Hiranya, it reminded me of My Ravana. The book traces the journey of nearly having a breakdown IT professional, I shall not go more than that, the book is definitely worth a pick.
The way she presents the interpersonal relationship in a board room, she actually writes it as, “Sastri’s presence contaminates Maggie and makes her more mad.” Kalyani I love you.
I like the ditty she uses,
My name is pooja, java ki mein raani…LOL
Just as you get comfortable with the humour, and you are smiling, the author throws an emotional volcano which most of us in our 40’s and 50’s can definitely empathize with. Maybe the emotional exhaustion of the protagonist who is also called Kalyani vibes with a phase that I am just emerging out off. The support system of the Hiranya an Asura, (Ravana in my case,) the prosaic voice of aunt …I have forgotten the name but the grounding connect in her life, the mysterious psychic connect who sends her messages. It is all intriguing.
Kalyani presents a very subtle presence of a supportive universe, with interesting observations like the universe is trying to resolve the conflicts of 7 billion individuals, and a little help might be required. Or looking at the universe as a partner.
There is this bit where Kalyani decides to get healthy and the epiphany she has on the treadmill, is that it was all about running to stay in the same place, which she finds is very similar to a career in the IT. At a point in the narrative she talks about data tracking and analysing is like accepting a God was keeping track of our good and bad deeds.
Another very down to earth observation she makes, is auto drivers and maids are really more privileged as they can get to choose their assignments.
Towards the end of the book she goes house hunting. Which is hilarious and I could empathize with that too. Her observation of one property, lush green view till political will protects…LOL. As she takes us through the real estate jargon I am reminded of Asterix’s and Mansion of Gods.
Somewhere she finds a soul twin in Dubai, again amazing. Her insights to life and contemporary lifestyles are so hands on and practical,
Like in page 364 she talks about how fear rules us right from the age of 15.
In page 383 she gives the panacea for all recoverees– which is one day at time. This was exactly what I did when I was recovering from burns, and am doing now as I am care giving my husband who is recovering from a threatened stroke.
I also agree with Kalyani’s mom self pity is not constitutional.
The icing on the cake was the way she used facebook status to declare a situation. What really struck a chord was her epiphany on being chained to her work.
The most amazing epiphany of it all Grihastashram is about finding ways of staying in the ecosystem long after you are tired of it!!
I enjoyed the book so much that I handed to my 20yr old niece who is hanging on it, she keeps telling me, “I cannot imagine a 40+ person having this kind of humour. The book felt like a conversation between me and my friends.”
Right at the fag end of the book she shares an experience in Japan which makes her realize that life is all about bending your knees and doing your best.
Thank you Kalyani B.V. for giving me the honour of reviewing your book.