'Life is What You Make It' by Preeti Shenoy
I read a short novel called Life is What You Make It by Preeti Shenoy. It can be categorized in the popular Chetan-Bhagat-genre of novels as in the main character goes to college and there are the joys and throes of youth, the tribulations of career, love and romance. But the book is beyond that, it delivers a strong message. It deals with major depressive disorder, a psychiatric illness, and reminds the reader that mental illnesses are to be considered as any other physical illness. The author goes on to explain that there is a full branch of medicine dedicated to that and laments that there is not enough awareness about psychiatric illnesses in India and the patients are socially stigmatized. The novel makes the reader feel for the protagonist and realize that just like any other disease, a psychiatric disorder can manifest at any time without prior notice and it is never in the control of the person. The book delivers a strong message, a welcome one when a large part of today’s society is blinded with certitude and intolerance. The story is also about hope and determination. I was deeply moved several times while reading. It is a gift from two years ago, I am glad I finally read it.