Kindle Book Title: I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier
Author: Shaheen Bhatt
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
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A Bird’s Eye View
About the Storyteller:
Shaheen Bhatt is the child of the famous film-maker Mahesh Bhatt and sibling to the popular Actress Alia Bhatt. As a writer, I find her candid and outspoken. I appreciate that aspect of a writer while writing about sensitive issues that have a lot of personal baggage to it. Her writing was so clear to me that every single pain was internalized. I hear you, and I hear you loud and clear. As an individual’s experience, as the reflections of each individual patient are completely unique, the settings are never the same, but the pain is similar throughout the human species. That pain I could connect to at a more personal self-experience level.
The Story in a Nutshell
There is a lot of stories that were left unsaid in the book. But then, I glued up the unsaid in her few spare words to rush to finish those hard memories that she was narrating. Her conversation with her Mom and her Dad were beautifully done. But more than that I was fascinated with her narrative about her episodes.
Among the many patients with psychological problems, she is one of them. Because it is different for each patient. The experience of isolation, morbid sadness, low self-esteem, stacked up failures, low self-worth, and many more such depreciating thoughts do a circus circuit in the brain of the victim. When someone tells you that they are sad, the person listening to on the opposite side does not understand anything about what the other person is saying. Sadly, this is the case of most families. The huge levels of denial that go around fearing the medical labels that do the round can frighten even the brave of hearts. But Shaheen is blessed with a family that supports her. Sometimes, it is an independent struggle, most often than never.
If you are looking to be entertained from this book, please drop the book, and find something else to read. If you wish to empathize with the writer then, I say come with an open mind. Many of us do not understand sad the way Shaheen describes it. It is not just being afraid of a boo-boo man who hides in the closets. These are real fears. The sufferer’s life is pushed to such a huge terror, that overcoming the episode takes a great amount of will power to pacify and calm the speeding heart.
I could feel her anxiety and I could feel her deep sadness that removes the light out of life. All that darkness that crowds into your living space in which you cannot see the very family that cares for you. I could feel that in her whenever she shut herself inside her room.
Much of the negative portrayal of the physicality of a woman in the social setting that she happened to be in, can be very demotivating and sure-fire – emotional roller coaster ride. She goes through all these rides like a professional and her strength to bring it into the limelight and show her weakness while knowing that her pain will always remain personal. In these personal narratives, I saw a strong woman with exceptional qualities of humor and great clarity of thoughts.
My Likes and Dislikes
I personally liked the fact that Shaheen was willing to write this. Watch out it is not easy to write with the tears covering up the jumbled texts on the screen. Writing about such an incident brings back the very nemesis that you are trying to run away from. I think Shaheen was brave to write it and I wish that much more is possible by her. I hope she keeps the art of writing and self-expression alive. Maybe she can pursue advocacy and it would be a great next step. But then, not all can be advocates since public speaking requires internal strength building. But then, within the protective circle of family and friends, if something can be done, then it is time to start talking girl.
One thing I disliked was the blurred quality of her diary writings and jottings. Somehow in the Kindle version, it was not clear. I could not expand it and had a hard time reading it. Because according to me the true Shaheen was present there in the confusion of thoughts and desperation to get one human ear to listen and thus share empathy. Happens innumerable times with the framework of human communication. There have been many a time when two normal persons (the so-called normal, that is) are still stuck with hitting cords of mismatched notes while conversing. Naturally, the challenges with talking to someone in the rush of an episode is much cacophony of disturbance and turbulence.
In my opinion, this book is a show of bravery and I wish her a lot of success ahead as a writer and maybe she could explore it further under protective conditions. The vulnerability of the writer’s emotion was present as you felt such pride for this person for taking things together even when the identity was smashed to smithereens. A wonderful read.
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