Masters for long have said that our mind is ours and not the other way round. We need to control our mind and not let it control us. Ravi Valluri – an officer in the Indian Railway Traffic Service and an Art of Living faculty who lives in Secunderabad – gives us tips on how to achieve just this. He calls it mind management.
His book, ‘The Matter of the Mind’ is a compilation of real life incidents, through which the author tells us how to discipline our thoughts. Humans achieved major feats – the moon landing, exploring the universe, etc – but they are yet to “fathom the enigma called the mind”, Valluri writes.
The book establishes a strong link between the mind, body and breath, and suggests ways to sync the three. Learn the science of yoga, observe the rhythm of your breath, take long walks, hug a person or speak out your feelings, are some of the author’s suggestions.
The narrative is part autobiographical, where Valluri discusses his addiction to alcohol and his fight to overcome it. Understand your mind to understand your addiction is what he tries to say.
Unlike other books in the genre which tend to veer towards the preachier side, this 198-page guide breaks down mind management using relatable examples from recent movies and popular incidents.
The Matter of the Mind
Author: Ravi Valluri
Publisher: The Write Place
— Himabindu Reddy
Race to the top
The newest entrant in the lineup of coming of age novels is Sagar Suman @KS Reddy set in Hyderabad. The novella follows the lives of two students, their travails in life and their search for individual identity.
The book reminds you of Chetan Bhagat’s ‘Three idiots’ which had similar themes. Having not read fiction in a long time, I found it to be a refreshing read that can be finished in three sittings.
The story follows Sagar and Suman, two people with varying personalities who meet in an IAS coaching centre named KC Reddy. As times passes, they become best friends helping each other out with various subjects. The twist in the tale comes when Suman disappears without any intimation just before the civil service exam. A heartbroken Sagar doesn’t know where and how to look for her as he never bothered to ask for her address or phone number.
The plot is simple yet interesting and college goers will easily relate to it. The narrative holds your attention and the emotions are portrayed vividly. Themes like parental pressure, achieving the highest marks possible and alienation are addressed through the parallel stories of Sagar’s friends —Chhina Dora, Shiva, Raj and Swarna. Though each has their own reason to join the course, they are halfhearted in their attempt, and only Suman and Sagar are focused on cracking the exam.
While Suman makes it to the list, Sagar opts out and decides to take up a software job. The first half of the novella is more about the lives of the students, while the second half focuses on the love story of Sagar and Suman. His efforts to finds her and the reason behind her sudden disappearing act make up the rest of the story.
This is the author’s second book which has been translated into Telugu. Her first book was a Telugu mini novel. Her idea behind the book was to bring out the challenges faced by students as they prepare for the highly competitive IAS in an interesting way. For her, whether they crack the Civil Services exam or not is secondary, what matters is how the coaching helps students in understanding workings of the country, various cultures and the society at large. More importantly, how it shapes the overall development of a person and helps in transforming them into better individuals.
Sagar Suman @KC Reddy
Author: Sanjeevani Kusum | Publisher: Shaili Publications | Pages: 112 | Rs 60/-
— Mausumi Sucharita
Books have always been a part of my life. I have many favourite books and authors so picking one would be tough. At the moment I’m reading PG Wodehouse’s The world of Blandings. Like most, Wodehouse novels, this one is high on subtle intelligent humour and is a nice break from the heavy and contemporary issues I read in between.
— Chandana Chakrabarti, Writer, actor and social activist.
The World of Blandings
Author: P G Wodehouse
Publisher: Random House Business book