N is Number 1

These are the times of rat race. Everyone is running to achieve the number 1 spot in their respective fields. Cricketers, film stars, businessmen, the common man, housewives and even children are not spared from it. From kindergarten starts the mad rush to always be numero uno in studies, sports and extra curricular activities. In fact, kids start the rat race as young as infants. Baby shows are quite popular these days and children are made to pose, preen and what not to “win”. I know the world is competitive and all that. And you have got to be the best to survive here yada yada. 

But I have a different theory regarding the Number 1 , especially in the case of young children. And this came about as a result of the introspection of my own life. I was a Number 1 child in my days 😛

I always stood first in the class, participated in debates and elocutions and also played sports. I was considered an intelligent student. Or may be I even was. But that’s not the point. The same happened in college. I was the batch topper, excelled my subjects and participated in cultural as well as technical fests. In fact I was always made fun of as the “topper” girl. And like with all classes, through school and college, we had these average children who the teachers always scolded and said they would not make anything of themselves in their life. 
Now, after more than 10 years of passing school and 7 years of graduation (engineering), I work for an MNC and earn peanuts. While so many of those average kids have gone on to do their masters and doctorates and are earning quite well. Most of them are living abroad while some of the most notorious ones have joined the Indian Army.  The best example here would be of my husband. When I met him first after finishing college, I had a job offer with an IT major while he was still figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. He was appearing for exams and giving interviews, and not getting much success. And for what it’s worth, he now works for an MNC too and earns more than me. Not that I am complaining though 😉
A couple of years back, it used to puzzle me. Where did I lag behind? What did I do wrong? And slowly I saw a pattern. Most of the people who were average had minimum or no expectations from family and teachers. And so they went about school or college with being number 2 or 10 or 20. They had less or no fear of failure because, much of it, in fact, was expected of them. But people like us, the Number 1s had a reputation to uphold. We couldn’t fail. And so went on with school and college being the number 1s, but we burned ourselves out.  That burden of expectations and praise took a toll on the likes of us. It did far more bad than good to us. 
And so, I know that when my little one grows up, I will encourage her to study, participate everywhere she can but being number 1? Never. At least that’s not a point I am going to push. If it happens, good. If she can maintain it, even better. But I now know what’s best. And I couldn’t have agreed more with this dialouge from the movie Three Idiots, “bacche, kabil bano kabil. Kamyabi to saali jhak maar ke peechey aayegi”
It basically translates to this



Love is Vodka – A Shot Ain’t Enough – Book Review

Love is Vodka
Title : Love is Vodka – A Shot Ain’t Enough
Author : Amit Shankar
Publisher : Vitasta Publishing Pvt Ltd
ISBN : 978-81-925354-4-9
Number of Pages : 203
Price [INR] : 195
Genre: Fiction

Being a love child; Moon is anything but a conventional teen. With a leading TV news anchor as her mother, an aspiring entrepreneur as her boy friend, the word LOVE baffles her. The whole idea of having one partner and love being eternal intrigues her.

Life turns upside down when she falls for her mother’s boyfriend. Destiny further complicates things by blessing her with a mega modelling assignment and turning her famous overnight. A war between her head & heart exposes her to various hues of love.

Will she decipher the true meaning of love? Embark on an exhilarating rendezvous with Moon and discover love like never before.

The book revolves around a teenager and love-child Moon, who has had a not-so normal upbringing because of her mother’s Payal Malik’s rebellious thinking. Payal Malik is a hot shot journalist who has spent all her life in the field of journalism, fighting out the cut throat competition and finally emerging at the top. She is now the editor of a leading national news channel. Her father is French and although Moon has never met her, she keeps in contact with him through emails and chats.

Moon’s problems are typically what all teenagers go through during this phase. She has a boyfriend who she thinks she is in love with, but cannot understand her attraction towards other men at the same time. She knows she is beautiful, and yet she longs for people’s approval by posting her pictures on Facebook and waiting for more “likes” and “comments”. Her behavior typically stems from the fact that even though the mother has provided much more than for all her needs during her growing up years like a palatial bungalow, a chauffeur driver car and the spoils, she has raised her with an iron hand. Moon longs for her mother’s sensitive side, and without realizing keeps searching for it in the form of love from men.

Life gets out of control when she falls in love, and eventually moves in with her mother’s “friend”. She is all of 19, he is 45. Their chemistry sure is crackling in the beginning, but of course it has it’s fireworks because Moon is an excited teenager who wants to do all the wacky and weird stuff whereas he, being the director of an ad company has been there, and done that. And probably cannot take risks at this point in his career.

And so, Moon keeps getting in and out of relationships with nobody but her confused mind to blame.During the second half of the book, after the fiasco with the mother’s boyfriend, she comes back to her mother’s place, only to leave it again for an Anna Hazare like political revolution. She realizes she wants to do something worthwhile for the country. At the same time, she s also confused as to why Gautam (the guy who is spear heading the revolution) doesn’t care a hoot about her beauty, even when she is ready to give all of herself to him.

The book looks promising in the beginning, as the author sketches Moon’s character quite aptly for a pampered silly teen-aged girl. but somewhere along the way, he loses plot. The book just seems all over the place. Too many things are happening but none for a reason. The book completely loses its steam towards the end and then I just waited for the last page. I thought everything would converge to amount to something. But to say the least, I was disappointed.

My rating 2.5/5

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