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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Living to be a Hundred by Meera Shashidhara

Blurb  (from the jacket):


Nineteen centenarians from different countries and a cross-section of society, share their memoirs, intertwined with the history of their century, as they experienced it. They were ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives. In these pages, they share their values, beliefs, habits, attitudes and lessons learnt from living to be a hundred. Most important of all, they tell us how to harmonise science and soul. They were around from the rustic horse and buggy age to the sequencing of the human genome. They witnessed the Big Bands performing, the railroads being constructed, and Gandhiji s non-violent movement against the British. They have had personal experiences of the Great Depression, the World Wars, the Japanese invasion of China, India s freedom struggle, and apartheid. They have lost children to war and poverty. 

So what inspired them and kept them Spirited? What did they learn from history? How did they find the strength and the will to keep going in times of despair? Is there hope in the 21st century for all of us to achieve more fulfilling lives? In their diverse narratives, they offer us a common and real hope for health, longevity and a saner world-based on our own humanity.

My take on the book:
I am not a guy who could be motivated by reading. Not that preaches could do, either. But over the years, I had reviewed quite a few motivational/inspirational books. In the same wake I had accepted to review this book. Actually, it is the pleasantness of the cover design and the title of the book that made me accept it.

As I read the blurb, I was dubious. How can lives of someone who have lived a century be so inspiring? I didn't see anything inspiring in that. Of course, the fact that they have seen a lot is fascinating, but it sounded in no way inspirational or motivational.

Well, I read on, I realised they, the people in the book, are not ordinary people. They are people who had achieved something big in their lives and have lived a century to tell their stories for all the generations that ensued.

As I read the story of each person, I was awed at what they had to say and what their life actually says.

Though motivation was far away, it was informative. It is like a short story collection of different people narrating their stories.

One more aspect of the book, I liked is that there is pictures of the people at the time of their interview or when they have crossed their 100.

I am disappointed by the print. It was missing eight pages. I have got eight blanks with a gap of two pages. Pages 168,169,172,173,176,177,180,181 were missing in my copy. I could have requested the publishers for a replacement, which they would have done without hesitation, but I let it be. After reading so many stories from different people, it does get boring sometimes. That is the reason I had taken some exceptional to review the book.

Overall, the book was good, but not motivational or inspiring enough...



Title: Living to be a Hundred

Author: Meera Shashidhara

Tagline: Voice from Lives Well Lived

ISBN (edition I've read): 9789381576434


Read between: 09-07-2014 to 12-07-2014

Reviewed for: Parag Mayekar

Publishers: Leadstart Publishers

Pages: 230

MRP: ₹ 195   |   $ 10

The best deal for this book could be found here:  

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