Valmiki Syndrome by Ashok Banker

13 Dec

From the Jacket

scan0001Maxing our career is our ‘dharma’ in this age of Kali. But at what cost? Working parents don’t see enough of their children, couples barely spend time with each other, young men and women become strangers to their families and friends. And here’s the irony–most of us mention our families and loved ones as the main reason for why we strive towards success, without realizing that we stand to lose them in this very quest.

So how do we strike a balance between our careers and our families?

In his first major work of non-fiction, bestselling author Ashok K. Banker goes back to Puranic sources to address this question. He writes of Ratnakaran the bandit, who made a living out of killing and looting to support his family, and his transformation into Valmiki, the sage. Using his story and contemporary stories from today, he shows us how they contain the answers to today’s most pressing issue: how to prioritize, manage, and enhance our personal as well as professional lives.

My take

Frankly this book fails to impress me. I found it a tad bit drab and had to force myself to read it. It is the foreword that compelled me to pick up the book and honestly i was disappointed in reading the book. What works for the book that it deals with stories from different dimensions  I was left hoping that the last chapters were not as vague and was fleshed out a bit more as the rest of the book.There are more number of repetition and there is no concrete message given about balancing family and career. A good editing would have really pulled the book to new heights given the author’s reputation.

What the author has tried to do is to bring out the ancient wisdom and tried to relate it to the contemporary issues faced by today’s youth with high aspirations and struggling to get the best of both the worlds.

The book may get a little boring in between because of the lengthy narrative of the stories, however, i feel the last few chapters put everything in the right context that the author is trying to articulate. It gives a canvas view of balancing the different aspects of life, family, career and personal fulfillment  What it does not do is, provide any quick fix that most readers want or is used to and may be  that’s why most felt that there was no solution provided for their problems

The book is not intended as a self help book, but ends up being one. And if compared to the dozens of self help books, this stands out.  On having read the book I wonder what is the  relevance of the book with respect to the Indian context, it is debatable if the youth can relate to it or not!

Pick this up and form your own opinion, for me, it was a decent read.

My rating is a 2.5/5

This review is for Random House India; however the opinions expressed here are my own.


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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in books


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