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Book Review: Inside Chanakya’s Mind by Radhakrishnan Pillai

Chanakya is undoubtedly one of the most venerated thinkers, philosopher and political strategists from ancient India. His shrewd political maneuvering, war tactics and vast knowledge of governance has been recorded in history in golden letters. Undoubtedly, it would be of immense interest for an enthusiast of history to get a glimpse into how the mind of this great man worked.

Chanakya is best known for ‘Arthashastra’ or his book of Economics. Although, there were many Arthashastra before Chanakya wrote his own, his book is now being considered an expert document on politics, economics, warfare, and a text that relates to governance, leadership and strategy. It is also a book on law, foreign policy, international relations and how to rule a kingdom.

In this book by Radhakrishnan Pillai, we are taught how the philosophy underlined in Arthashastra can make us better thinkers, thus bettering our skills for problem-solving and management. It is aimed at the masses; thus the language of the book is simple and laden with examples and anecdotes. It is almost like reading a text book prescribed for a course in critical thinking.

The author introduces us to the concept of ‘Aanvikshiki’ – the science of strategic thinking. The first and opening chapter of Kautilya’s Arthashastra talks about Aanvikshiki and its importance. This would certainly open a new horizon in philosophy for readers.

Thinking is an essential part of our daily lives. From school assignments to office projects, we are often asked to think hard. But nobody has ever told us how to think. Weird, isn’t it? Thorugh ‘Aanvikshiki’ Pillai tries to do just that. The author has categorised the art of thinking into six divisions and taken us through each one of them in great details with examples and quotes from Chanakya’s Arthashastra.

To sum up, Chanakya’s teachings, which helped Chandragupta run an empire, will surely come in handy for us in managing a corporate office. Radhakrishnan Pillai has illustrated how an ancient text can help us become better human beings.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

P.S. This book was received as part of the Flipkart Bloggers’ Affiliate Programme

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

Book Review: Beneath a Rougher Sea by Susmita Bagchi

The first English novel by acclaimed Odia writer Susmita Bagchi, ‘Beneath a Rougher Sea’ is a fresh approach towards mental health in literature and will surely create a place for its own in your heart. We live in a country where mental health patients have to bear with stigma, there is zilch awareness about mental health problems and mainstream cinema has popularised the notion that such ailments can be cured by ‘electrotherapy’. Efforts like this book go a long way in setting the record straight.

This is the story of Aditya, a psychiatrist. A successful doctor, Aditya is doing good in life, handling patients suffering from manic depression, hyper sexuality and delusions. His life hits turbulence as his old flame Deepa returns to his life with her son Raj who needs treatment following his father’s death. After Raj recovers, Deepa moves back to London and Aditya is overcome with a sense of failure and loss. What happens when the psychiatrist himself needs help? Susmita Bagchi does a fabulous job of taking us through the journey of Aditya’s life.

The author deserves huge acclaim for the extensive research behind the various mental health problems, their symptoms, the medical process as well as the reaction of society to mental health issues. The writing is simple and narrative moves at a brisk pace, so the reader does not lose interest.

The characters are real and the emotions are raw. This is not a hunky-dory story from La La Land where everyone lives happily ever after. That makes this novel even more endearing. Overall, this is the perfect book for an idyllic weekend afternoon read.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

P.S. Thank you Leadstart Publishing for the review copy

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

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