January 27, 2022

KITAAB

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Book Review: Anitya by Gayatri Jayaraman

4 min read

Namrata reviews Anithya by Gayatri Jayaraman (Hachette India, 2021) emphasizing how it changes the way you look within.

  • ISBN ‏ : ‎ 978-9391028268
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hachette India
  • Release Date: 30 September 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Price: INR 399/-

They tell us change is good for us, like a sort of magic pill. But how do we swallow it when it halts us in our tracks and disrupts our lives, and thwarts cherished plans? How do we begin to cope, let alone embrace, what seems like a destructive force? How do we build back with the ground shifting beneath our feet?

Blurb – Anitya by gayatri jayaraman

These lines from the blurb of Anitya took me by surprise because they resonated so much with the eternal question I kept asking all healers and self help gurus. They always told me; happiness is a choice. And that one should just decide to be happy. And I had only one question for them – So what about the million feelings I am experiencing at the moment? Never got any satisfactory answer to it.

Till I read this on the back cover of Anitya and it made me pause. THIS is exactly what I wanted to know. How do I cope with all that has happened or is happening around and how do I heal myself? Self help was a favourite genre for me till I realised a lot of them were not practical in the Indian context. Our challenges and beliefs are different from rest of the world. There cannot be one way of healing that suits all.

Author Gayatri Jayaraman is a mind-body-spirit therapist in Mumbai. Through Anitya she brings together her learnings and shares it with the reader in an attempt to demystify the process of change and healing.

There are many ways to read this book. One can look at it as a guide who will answer to their questions. Or consider it as a friend who is now holding your hand and you simply have to follow them, trusting them and knowing it will lead you where you need to be,

The book starts with a poignant dedication,

To

All who suffer,

May you be free of your suffering.

It felt akin to entering into a long lost friend’s house and feeling right at home. Like that tight embrace a loved one gives you, when lack of right words leaves them speechless. Or that gentle squeeze of hand, a friend gives you just to say ‘I am there’.

From the subtle cover in pastel hues to a heart-warming blurb, there is something very soothing about this book. Jayaraman talks in a known language and about things that matter.

The book is divided into four sections based on a meditated interpretation of Gautam Buddha’s Four Noble Truths: Dukkha (Suffering), Samudaya (the Cause), Nirodha (the Cessation) and the Magga (the Path). Dissecting the sub-title of the book- How to Make the Most of Change and Transform Your Life, the chapters talk about how to gather yourself, permanence, to embrace the infinity and finally the burnout before we turn into fire ourselves that fuels us.

Interspersed with real life anecdotes Anitya no where sounds preachy or difficult to understand. It is not an easy topic to read, write or talk about. However, Gayatri Jayaraman has tried her best to break the information into bite-sized pieces which ensure there is never information overload for a reader. She pauses at the right places at the right time. She allows the reader to pause, breathe, ponder and then come back to the chapter.

The most interesting aspect about this book was the way Jayaraman spoke as “we” throughout the book. It felt as if she had undergone the journey of healing herself and wanted the reader to know what to expect. For me, that was a huge thing because as I mentioned in the beginning I was simply tired of being addressed as YOU throughout the book which constantly kept telling me what to do to overcome my problem.

Anitya changes the way you look within. It makes you respect your feelings, both positive and negative. It also guides you how you are made up of both the good and the bad. And finally, it helps you embrace the real you – with flaws and positives intact.

Anitya means impermanence and it is definitely something one should experience, even if it is momentarily just to feel the magic within.


Reviewer’s Bio

Namrata is a published author who enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words and is always in pursuit of a new country and a new story. Her book reviews have been published both nationally and internationally. She enjoys writing on gender, chronic illness, travel and mindfulness.

About the Author

Gayatri Jayaraman is a mind-body-spirit therapist. She is the founder of Shamah | शम:, and LOGOS | λόγος, alignment practices based in Mumbai.

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