‘The Bottom Line’ rising above mundane issues!
If there is an Author’s Note at the start of any book, I recommend that it be read first. This always helps a reader to know how much to expect from the book… and any extra insight gained then comes as a rather pleasant surprise. Despite knowing this, I thought I’ll skip this note as the book with its hundred odd pages and a large font size did not look like it would need any priming up or a catalytic churning of the thought processes. I also did a rapid word count and a rough estimate told me that twenty thousand odd words for a book could not surely be such a big challenge for any mind.
Then I went on and read through the first couple of pages of the first… well, essay, and stopped, thought for a while and went back to read the Author’s Note. Why did I do it? The simple reason was that I came face to face with questions that, like anyone else in this world, I too had been thinking of… and I said to myself, ‘This writer is either nuts and is going to take me on a wild goose chase around all the unsolved problems and then leave me somewhere in the middle of an unknown and un-explored region expecting me to trudge back home.’ I normally wince and twist and turn uncomfortably when attempting to read such books – they always seem so pretentious and so full of gas, quite literally. But then Sonu V C writes:
Understanding life has never been that easy. Life unfolds new and different colours now and then. People spend years to understand life and I am no one to comment that I have understood even one percent of it.
‘Well,’ I said to myself, ‘this is quite true and this writer is at least humble enough to admit his own limitations.’ The author then went on to say that it is just ‘exposure, experience, and introspection’ that he would be sharing in the book hoping it would give the readers ‘ideas to act as enablers’. The author then goes on to point out that most of us live our lives to ultimately realise that ‘something is missing and that ‘something’ is nothing but ‘the bottom line’… and that it is YOU and only YOU who can make a difference to your life and no one else.’
It was only after reading the note by Sonu that I could gather enough courage to wade through all the hefty questions that this trim little volume throws at you… yes, this book may seem like a malnourished specimen in that world of books where tomes rule the roost, but it certainly comes armed with all the poignant questions that anyone may ever have thought of. The first impressionable facet of this book is that by making you go through all the questions it compels you to stop, think, and conclude for yourself. You suddenly feel that you keep going back in your life to ferret out answers and solutions to all that the author seems to be wondering about. The author makes you think a lot and this is what I like most about this skinny volume that is neither an attention-grabing novella nor an erudite volume with complex obfuscating excellence oozing through it!
No, I’m not going to list out any of the innumerable questions that a reader will need to wade through while reading this book simply because listing them out here in this review would be similar to someone revealing the climax of some murder mystery. All that I can push myself to say is that the author has spent his days with the eyes of his mind open and has probably made frequent and copious notes of his perceptions about all that happened around him. Sonu V C is an HR professional and knows that ‘there are two lines that guide our lives, one the practical line and the other one the bottom line.’
The author has taken up abstract issues and conversed with them in a rather earthy tone. This is what makes this small volume with its seven essays quite endearing despite having a heavy share of grammatical bloopers and a writing style that is quite run-of-the-mill. No there are no quaint phrases to win hearts or dialogues that will adroitly handle attention, and certainly no romance, intrigue, or drama here. However, the author has taken up some very basic human issues as well as some very basic philosophic mysteries and has managed to put in a fair degree of pace in his writing… the pages don’t make you want to yawn and go off to sleep!
Any book does precisely what the author tells it to do… and in this case the instructions were pretty clear:
No one knows how much time is left for him. Do not waste it by creating something for your own interest rather invest your time in extending a helping hand to those who are in need. Live for others.
No wonder then that the book attempts to give sanity to some rather insane queries we all tend to have festering within us all. I wish though that the author had thought of converting his notions and conclusions in the form of one continuous story and written a novella instead of just essays. From a purely readership point of view, it is stories with substance in them that have a better acceptance. However, this book is quite fine as it is and I hope it does manage to carry its message to as many readers as possible.
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The book supports ‘Deepika Foundation’…
Title: The Bottom Line
Author: Sonu V C
Publisher: World Book Company (P) Ltd
Price: Rs 199/- (in 2012)
23 November 2012