Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Anxiety: A Book Review

 Title:  Anxiety: Overcome It and Live without Fear

Author: Sonali Gupta 
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Publisher: Harper Collins India

The book strikes you with its white cover and opens with an insightful foreword by renowned Indian Writer Jerry Pinto who has earlier edited and curated an anthology of mental health stories titled Book of Light. His understanding of this sensitive issue certainly stands out and the foreword in itself seems like an essay on mental health that has been written with elan and poise. When he says, "You have a right to be anxious.We all are.", it sets the tone of the book as a conversation about mental health rather than a preachy sermon.

The author Sonali Gupta is a Mumbai-based clinical psychologist with16 years of experience in the field of mental health. She writes a weekly column for Mumbai Mirror titled 'Terms of Engagement'. She currently runs a private practice in Khar and South Bombay.

On her website she says about the book:

Anxiety is a mental health crisis that has gripped over three crore Indians. In my debut book Anxiety: Overcome It and Live Without Fear, I delve into the condition, using case studies to identify how anxiety can be triggered at work, in relationships, and by social media. I have attempted to share a unique glimpse into this mental health condition in India, especially among Gen Z and millennials. 

Gupta lives up to what is promised by the book successfully and brings the mental health conversation to an Indian context. The book is about routine issues of an average Indian and how that is related to anxiety and also has a lot of tips and methodologies about how to deal with them. Hence the book becomes not just a book but a kind of WORKBOOK with ample DIY activities that help in self-care and self-analysis along with an entire last section dedicated to managing anxiety. The book is interactive with its readers and has columns to write things as you go. This not only makes it fun but also helps the reader to understand his/her own unique issues better.

In an interview with Women's Web the author says:

“The problem with anxiety is that it’s so normalised that people don’t talk about it. Just because something is normalised doesn’t mean it is okay that people have to live through it. It is a problem we need to address it at a systemic level.” 

In the book she speaks about not just anxiety but other related issues like BURNOUT saying:

“Most millennials who start jobs by age twenty-one reach their first burnout when they are about twenty-six or twenty-seven years old. Their second burnout is generally between age twenty-nine and thirty-years. This is usually the time when most people reach out for help and almost believe in its legitimacy since they now feel that a decade of work has taken a toll on them.” 

The tone is crisp and the material absolutely well-researched and supported with loved experiences and professional observations. 
Definitely a must-read for any Indian who has any interest in understanding mental health better.

This post is part of #Bookchatter with Blogchatter.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

#SuicideGuidelines #CauseAChatter


September is celebrated as #SuicideAwareness month and #SuicidePrevention Month world over. September 10th has been designated as World Suicide Prevention Day and yet the lack of awareness about language and sensitivity related to suicides is appalling in India.
The commonest word we still use "commit" which indicated suicide is a crime just like theft or murder. The appropriate and sensitive tern to use is "died by suicide" or death by suicide.
Several agencies have time and again issued guidelines.
Some crucial points to remember are 
1. Don’t promote suicide stories by placing them in the front pages of the newspaper or as a lead item for broadcast media.
2. Don’t give details about the method or location of any suicide death or attempt.
3. Suicide notes, text messages, social media posts, and emails of the deceased person and/ or their family members should not be published.
4. Don’t speculate. Verify your facts from multiple sources when the reasons for a suicide death or attempt are not immediately clear.
5. Don’t reveal personal details about family members, the deceased person, or any person who has attempted suicide without their informed consent.
6. Don’t write of suicide deaths/attempts as horrific, unfortunate events. Open up your story by focusing on the celebrity’s life and their contribution to society.
7. Suicide is a largely preventable public health problem. There are several counselling services and helplines working across the country for this cause. Include these resources in your story/report.

In India if you or someone else is at risk of suicide or having mental distress please call 1800 599 0019

This post is part of #CauseAChatter at Blogchatter.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

An evening in Italy

 Assisi, Italy

Pouring the wine from Orvieto

you talk of Amritsar memories of food

The afternoon in our quaint room in Assisi

is limpid yet bathed in the warmth of comfort

We shall be driving to Lucca later

A few weeks in Tuscany 

as I write my next 

you cook and create new recipes

Till we finally reach  

Manarola in the Cinque Terre

when my desert heart touches the sea

I look at the night lights

and think of a childhood in the hills

You rub my back and feel

the graininess of time

I lean into you

and look for  "home"

together we begin talking

and then laughing

on a private joke 

our eyes brimming 

and smiles widening

is intimacy.

Join me on Facebook


To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!