Life is what you make it

A human life can be extremely unpredictable. One day, You can be on cloud number 9 on a peak of a mountain telling yourself that life can’t get better than this and within a span of few days you can find yourself unable to muster enough emotional strength to get up off the bed  telling yourself that life cannot get worse than this. Such is life and such is its beauty.

The book “Life is what you make it”, as per author is a story of love, hope and how determination can overcome even destiny.  I truly don’t agree with author that this book achieves that. I don’t highly recommend this read and hence this blog is gonna have spoilers. If you have any intention of reading this book which in unlikely, Please close the window.

This book is about a small town girl called Ankita. She is an academic achiever with a penchant in painting and arts. She is in love with one guy but a second guy comes and sweeps her off her feet. She ditches the guy citing her career aspirations and education  while the guy commits suicide.  She takes this guy off her life overnight as if  he never existed and one fine day things fall apart. Despite of doing very well academically, She ends up being a drop out and as her past starts haunting her, She starts fainting regularly, she goes into severe depression. She starts questioning her self-worth and loses her self-respect to the extent of not able to face herself in mirror. She feels like punishing herself and even goes suicidal and ends up in a psychiatric hospital after being diagnosed of Bipolar Disorder.

If the book was about how she fights back to a so-called normal life , then the title would have been deserving. By the time all this happens, it’s almost the end of the book. Only couple of chapters dedicated on how she recovers which talks more of her routine and less about her mental strength and even less about her determination. She recovers and excels in life which is as predictable as ending of any Hindi movie.

The part of the book which i liked the most was when the author talks about Bipolar Disorder. How it can be so severely crippling that it can result in damaged relationships and sudden change in decisions and severe depression. Its associated with creativity. People with this disorder experience intense emotional states which alternate between a ‘High episode’ called manic episode and is followed by a ‘low episode’ called depressive episode. During a manic state, the person feels overly happy,outgoing and bursting with high energy. There is a huge increase in goal directed activities and the person is restless and on their toes. In contrast, during low period, there is increasing feeling of worthlessness or emptiness which is hard to describe. The person feels exhausted and has trouble concentrating , making decisions and filled with negative thoughts.

It’s very appalling that Mental health issues are still a big taboo in india. In the west there is so much of awareness on this but in India, People still prefer not to talk about it and even if anybody suffers, its hushed up. I remember recently asking somebody to get a professional opinion but it was received in a way as if I was insinuating that the person is crazy. I still don’t understand, How the so-called forward thinking people who have got so much influenced by western lifestyle still have this Indian mentality of thinking that only ‘crazy’ ppl approach a psychiatrist. When people have a toothache, they go to dentist, when they have a severe thought disorder, they go to psychiatrist, as simple as that!

The author also wants to convey from the book that having a condition like Bipolar disorder does not mean the person is ‘crazy’ or ‘lunatic’ and it’s not end of the world either. With just a bit of professional help, affected people can lead a very positive and complete lives.

P.S : The last 3 para are almost verbatim versions of the contents of the book and not from my knowledge. I just mentioned it here to increase people awareness.  The author also mentions that more info can be found at

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