At times, being a book critic turns into the most arduous job in the world. The heart says one thing, and the mind says another. Such phases, rare in the life of a book critic, introduce us to many new experiences. Dr Prathima’s debut publication, Insignificant Me, has brought the same experiences to my career. This book, by a dermatologist, is not about medical science or a compilation of expert beauty tips. Insignificant Me celebrates life! This title by Dr Prathima got me in a fix; I could not review it as fiction or non-fiction. Nevertheless, to begin with the final impression itself, let me tell the readers of The Last Critic that Insignificant Me is enjoyable and relatable to a great extent for anyone who likes to read light, sensible, and ‘useful’ literature.
“I want the readers to interpret their own messages. A few of them are observations and questions I asked myself when faced with a specific situation.”
(Prathima, 2021: 2)
This message comes from the author early in the book. Dr Prathima does not want to intervene between the book and its readers. However, she appeals that readers should read her book to the end before making an assumption. I complied. And here is my review of this title.
There are 12 chapters in the book, spread across 65 pages. Anyone with elementary mathematical skills can jump to get a copy – a short book, easy reading and enjoyable to the end. The author has shared the experiences she has accumulated in her life in the form of essays and short stories. In some of the chapters, she is herself the subject. In a few others, there are different subjects. The narrator throughout the book is Dr Prathima in various roles – a doctor, a woman, a daughter-in-law, a writer, a wife, an observer, and many other things. She writes about motivation and its impact on one’s life. She addresses the concerns of a doctor. She discusses what a healthy bond between a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law can do. She cites her example (thanking her mother-in-law for mentoring her writing skills).
Dr Prathima voices the concerns of introverts. She shares her thoughts on science and spirituality. In this chapter, the author shares a peculiar and beautiful analogy. She tries to compare the Goddesses of the Hindu religion with the parts of the human body. Kali, Bhairavi, Chhinnamastika, Baglamukhi, Matangi and a few others feature in this episode of the book. I appreciate the enthusiasm of the author. However, in this chapter, she mistakes her title. Spirituality, even within the circumference of Hinduism, is beyond the necessity of religion per se. The author has forayed into the grand world of religious deities instead. The Perfect Life, the chapter after Science and Spirituality, compactly summarises the necessity of satisfaction in every walk of life. Prathima’s skills at writing and adjoining the same with imagination come to the fore in this story.
Towards the end, Love Stories, the chapter before the book ends with the signature anecdote, Insignificant Me, is both, interesting and revealing. The author tries to bring forward the oft-hidden sides of love (as we know it today).
It was an overwhelming experience. There are many faults in writing – a few spelling errors and variations in grammar. However, as I mentioned earlier, I am not judging the author for her mistakes (we all make them). Dr Prathima’s attempt is more than merely praiseworthy. She has enthusiastically taken the role of a writer to the next stage after publishing her book. Any writer gets better with time, and I am sure Prathima will. Until she decides her next fist of (intellectual) fury, readers may enjoy the first slice of the writer’s efforts!
You can get a copy of Insignificant Me from Amazon India. Click the link below:
Review by Amit for The Last Critic
Insignificant Me by Dr Prathima – Book Review
- TLC Verdict
Insignificant Me by Dr Prathima is a collection of short stories and essays. The book takes the readers on a journey that’s different in many ways. Memories, experiences, suggestions, ideas, thoughts and everything served wonderfully…