Disclaimer / Caution : This book is an all out mush attack on unsuspecting souls. If love/mush/romance is not your genre, cover your eyes and ears and run in the opposite direction !
Chicken Soup for the Indian Couple's Soul showcases a collection of short, inspirational and very interesting stories of real life couples, their life events and relationships. The stories range from couples whose match was made in heaven, to those who had a typical arranged marriage, to some of the lucky ones who fell in love and got married to their partner, to those who had a tough time making their families approve their relationship, to the not-so-lucky ones who had to go against the world to be with their love of life.
The stories capture all the hues of a couple's married life, from being 'just married', to the joys of having a child, to the triumph of having a baby despite a miscarriage or being unable to conceive, to the trauma of the realization of not being able to produce their own progeny, to the boundless joys found in an adopted child, to facing the 'mid life crisis', of discovering long lost love in the autumn years of life, and of coping up with life without a partner when Death cut a love story short. The book is a captivating read as it takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions in the lives of the rich, the poor, middle class, of people with special needs and people with special circumstances.
It doesn't matter whether you are in love, or out of it, whether you are married and happy, or married and separated, you are bound to find it difficult to put the book down as you go down memory lane, or fantasize about your own dream wedding and a happily ever after life. The book captures all nuances of a man woman relationship. Be it falling in love at first sight, or realizing that your partner of 20 years was indeed the love of your life, of being by your partner's side in adverse times, or of conveying those ever elusive words "I Love you" through your eyes. As I read on story after story of exemplary courage people showed, just to be by each others' side, it made me sit up and sent me into an introspection made. Nothing in this world comes easy, not even Love. It takes a lot of effort to keep the fire in a relationship alive after years of being together.
Some love stories were so romantic, that I had the kind of feeling one has while having sinful dark chocolate. While there were some that made me feel blessed and want to appreciate my near and dear ones more than I do now. Those that dealt with death had me in tears. Such beautiful people and stories, and such an abrupt ending. But then, who said life is fair.
The authors Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hanse & Rajyashree Dutt have done a spectacular job of collecting these gem of a stories and compiling them into this stunning book that is so aptly named "...for the Indian Couple's Soul."
Here are some of my "mush moments" from the book :
For he finally realized that there was a woman in his life. A woman who was sobbing, but who had shown him her inner steal, a woman who had put up with enough sense, but was no pushover. She might be dependent on him, but she could still make her own decisions. A woman who was not going to be a small fraction of his life, but his better half. And that was the day Dad finally got married.
As we walked to the car, like lovers, I asked him, 'Why didn't you hug me earlier?'
'Because you became so silent; like a stone.'
'You stopped understanding me; I became quiet.'
It was then, in an old parking lot that I realized that love isn't harsh and hard like a mirror; it is as mushy, mouldable and pure as mud.
Today, life has moved on without him but my daughter has inherited his smile and my son his vigour. They are preoccupied with their lives and I am reconciled with mine. But when I hear the pattering rain on the window sill, I open up all the locked doors inside and with a swelling heart I feel the rain on my palms, as if someone is breathing new life into my being. The familiar fragrance wraps me in ecstasy and reminiscence.
Today the opera is far from over. There are still many many acts and scenes waiting to be played out; many more characters to be introduced. But when it's time to write the final scene, I hope there's a hallelujah chorus at the end, or a resounding, crashing crescendo accompanied by fireworks at the very least.
After all, isn't that what every life lived together deserves?
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