Book Review: Payal Jain's Mind, Life & Reflections
Lt Cdr Vibhuti Agarwal (Retd)
Volume 1, Issue 2, pp. 50-51
Title: Mind, Life & Reflections
Author: Payal Jain
Publisher: Invincible Publishers and Marketeers
Price: Rs. 299/-
Payal Jain’s Mind, Life & Reflections is a philosophical self-help book of carefully woven words of poetic expression and an elaborate narrative, providing escapades to individuals in particular and society at large. Her words of wisdom can light the darkness in myriad circumstances that catch us unawares.
The book exudes feelings and thoughts that are bound to compel the reader to create reading time and space, thirsting for being able to relate with a blend of life’s philosophy, reasons to the explainable, the challenge to accept the unexplainable, and ability to discover the conquering force within. The book continuously unleashes the dormant energy within to recognise self-worth and take a step forward, unhindered, untamed to rise to our full potential at the unexpected turn of events in our lives.
Each chapter opens with a poetic expression that strums a deep emotion with the reader, engaging her/him emotionally and intellectually. Each of these poems has a pictorial art form on the theme followed by an explanatory narrative to dwell upon the thought, which brings up the writer’s life events, thereby building up a strong reader-writer connect. The play of words throughout the poem and the narrative carries the reader through his own life journey as he draws a semblance with his own heart-mind-soul journey in this lifetime.
The chapters flow like bead to bead as if in a string of life, with each bead encapsulating a thought, a phase, a lesson learnt, like that of a maala-jap bead to bead progression. Yet, at places the chapters offer a surprising contrast to the previous one, playing with crests and troughs of emotions, beautifully wafered to keep the interest alive.
The book touches upon a plethora of subjects ranging from childbirth to death, beautifully bringing in various topics, such as childbirth as the first victorious journey. It builds upon the beauty of childhood, the continuation of the childlike feeling, and the impact of childhood traumas with the necessity to heal them. It sublimely captures the emotions through the bumpy teen ride, first love, hurt, and true love.
The book also brings up the topic of labels and titles that divide the society and imprison the individual to that label. The struggles of identity crisis, desire – dreams and passions, routines and boredoms, and caged soul are well explained. The balancing act of work-life juggling is encapsulated over chapters on Monday blues — working shoes, procrastination, failure and victory, winner and loser. Themes like ego, love vs convenience in love, friendship, life and what it is meant to be, regret, guilt, insecurity, lies and excuses, emptiness inside provide the reader a healing touch and a solution to deal with the issues at hand.
Our own thoughts spiralling over me and my life, the meaning of my living, loving yourself, here and now, the connect within, forgiveness, gratitude, people and soulmates, true wealth, time, special moments are wonderfully captured to reach out to the soul. The subject of death as an onward journey is dealt very well towards the end of the book.
The clarity of thought of a hazy mind is well brought out as the reader feels engaged with power-pounding words and depiction of imagery. One realises as one reads that from an early age we start absorbing what life has to offer us, picking up the messages that the universe sends us either through life events or through our sensitivities to the life journeys of people around us. The book reverberates with creative energies that will nurture others’ lives. We realise that there could be times when we veil our tearing, seething pain with smiles worn like a fortitude of fortress of strength, gathered from life experiences. The book repeatedly leads us to stand tall, gathering strength by learning life’s lessons from circumstances, everyday events and seeing reason in every human interaction, and a continuous leaning on God.
The book brings answers through the Bhagwad Gita, Upanishads, Osho, Bible, and lots of other writings. A lot of the wisdom that forms the healthy mettle in the content offers relief to people who realise their emotional emptiness and desire to seek psychological relief from the personal and social issues engulfing them.
Mind, Life & Reflections has a natural expression, bringing in notes from psychologists, poets such as Shakespeare, religious texts, and so on and at times Hindi poetic verses written by Payal at different occasions. This lacing and interspersing forms a free-flowing connect, which is boundaryless.
One may re-read the chapters while feeling an urge to cling, turning back or lean for support as every word, every line and the message between the lines is impactful. The book, therefore, does not hold a sequence of events but is an amalgamation of subjects. The volume may thus just be flipped through at first or just opened on any page for it may open to a topic that would turn out to be the lesson for the day or the sought-after solution. Self-help books like these help you heal, find answers to the queries that life throws at you and prepares you with strength to challenges yet to come, preparing you to take on life head on in the future, simultaneously healing the past.
The book would surely make a mark in the mind of the readers, young and old, with its subtle yet impactful psychological, emotional and spiritual messages feeding the heart and intellect alike. The healing touch provided by the book, is a panacea for the modern man and woman seeking a philosophical solution to the mundane from the universe.
It is a book on self-discovery in an easy language, kindling the thought and lighting the fire within. It will bring easy solutions and one may find help on unresolved issues. It may be a good idea to sit with a pencil or mark lines with a highlighter as you enjoy the book or you may find yourself clicking images from books to refer to friends on the social media!
The publishers have done a commendable job with quality paper, a pleasing cover page, and good printing. The black and white images look classy, depicting the theme well.
Happy soulful reading!
Lt Cdr Vibhuti Agarwal (Retd) was in the Indian Navy for ten years from 2003-2013 as an Air Traffic Controller. At present, she is working with Zikr Pvt Ltd as Associate Director.