You will read, but not understand.
You will understand, but not do.
You will do, but not understand what you did.
Does it make a difference?
Truth be told, I never had a good impression about this book when I first saw it. In fact, upon its arrival at my home, the book had to kept under the covers and only read when there was solitude, partly because of the eye-catching color and fonts on the cover page. In many Indian households, the F word is still held as a taboo by the families. I myself was criticized by my mother for reading such books which "play around with the minds of the youth and spoil them."
However, as soon as I started reading the first page of the book and continued into the book, my fears & apprehensions started to get dispelled. I realized what a gem of a book this is and that the Author, Shailendra Singh actually spoke some sense. Actually, he spoke my mind and talked about all those notions and ideas which have been present in my mind for the past 1-2 years now.
Before we move into the review of this book, I wish to warn the readers and offer my own disclaimer as well.
Read this book at your own risk. It is FULL of abuses, euphemisms, dirty language, detailed description of erotic stories and love making. Reader discretion is advised.
Having said that, let me make a point very clear and I know that the author will agree with me. This is definitely not about the abuses. It does not teach you how to abuse people. My personal request to all the readers of this book is to capture the essence of this book and not be distracted by all the abusive language. If you succeed in doing that, then this book is a gem and one meant for collection purposes.
Now, with the disclaimer out of the way, let's get into the book review.
Title - F?@K Knows
Author - Shailendra Singh
Place - New Delhi
Publisher - Rupa Publications
Pages - 248
Price - Rs. 195/-
ISBN - 978-81-291-2388-6
The cover has been designed by Nicole Sottung. One look at the cover tells the reader, that this book has been made keeping the youth in mind. The cover uses generous doses of bright, vibrant colors such as yellow, red and black fonts. These bright shades might be attributed to the brighter outlook towards life and career, which the book speaks about in its various chapters.
The spray can effect on the fonts both in the title of the book as well as in the author's name, in a way reaches out to the rebellious nature of today's young generation. The cover also includes small icons depicting a cricket bat, ice cream cone and most notably, a bottle of liquor. More on the significance of these icons later on in this review.
The Author is Shailendra Singh, most notably known as the Co-founder of Percept Media and also the concept owner of the Sunburn Festival.
In the year 1987, 20-year old Shailendra left his career as a professional cricketer in English County and stumbled into the world of advertising, to join his elder brother Harindra as a partner in a 3-year old advertising business, Percept Advertising.
In 1994, he setup Percept D'mark (PDM). In a short span of time PDM became India's leading Experiential and Sports Marketing Agency.
Read more about this man in his profile page.
The author dedicates his first published work to the Universe. The presence of a table of contents reveals that the book has been divided into chapters and headings but no numbering of these chapters. In this way, the author has come up with some really cool and wacky names for the different chapters.
The author gets into Author mode from the disclaimer page itself and the readers gets a peek into his witty and humorous side.
It is in the 'How to Read this book' section, that my hunches about the cover picture turn out to be true. The author gives detailed suggestions on various methods and places where you could read this book and that too, enjoyably. The Author tops up his suggestions with the names of his favorite brand of Liquor. These suggestions explains the reason behind the Liquor bottle occupying the central spot on the front cover.
Basically, the book is a collection of the Author's experiences which he has collected through these years of existence. That's the reason why, he warns the audience in the Preface section that he does not have the answers to all the questions which plague the youth of today.
Reactions and Experiences
The book is a wonderful delight to read and the amount of lessons to be learnt from this book is enormous. The author makes use of short to very short sentences and easy to understand vocabulary, which underscore the importance of the message which he's trying to send across and the impact he wishes to generate.
Throughout the book, he urges the readers to read the instructions and then keep the book down to actually perform the exercises or activity which he speaks about.
The main objective of the author is to get his message across and inspire the youth to do things which they like doing, which their heart tells them to do.
Consider this thought on detachment,
"They say the key to enlightenment is detachment. Detaching oneself from desire and from the mind. Dissociating from mind-generated thoughts. Stop identifying with them, because they are not you. They are not your true essence. Your true essence has to become the watcher of those thoughts."
On being a loser, the author says,
"If a kid doesn't aspire to be something that society deems 'incredible', then they are already made to feel like a loser."
On the thought of leaving behind,
"I guess I realized that, at the end of the day, I wanted my work to create more than profits. When the time for me to leave this world came, I wanted to leave behind more than balance sheets, bank accounts and receipts."
On the thought of having options in life,
"In life, you get messages from up there, out there. You get signs to tell you there are doors and options open to you. But then, the call is yours. If you notice, you usually have two options in all circumstances, and you generally tend to pick the one that you are most comfortable with. Hardly anyone takes the path that is challenging and unknown. But the option is there."
On the difference between being Rich and being Wealthy,
"In a way, I believe that it is the money that you have earned, that makes you 'rich'. It is the money that you spend that makes you 'wealthy'. Wealthy is the state of the mind that you get from using your riches for your enjoyment."
The book is full of personal experiences of the author which taught him a lot about life and now he passes on those treasures of learning to the youth of this age. I personally learnt a lot of new things from this book. Let me give you an example.
TIL (Today I Learned) that there are more neurons located in a 9-meter section of the gut (Enteric Nervous System) than are found in the spinal cord or the brain, combined. In fact, the Gut is usually referred to as the 'Second Brain' of our body.
It's actually true and you can read up about this at the following links:
How the Gut's 'second brain' influences mood and well being
Enteric Nervous System
Well, apart from the usual typos and the high frequency of abusive words and obscene language, the book is a wonderful read. People who find such language offensive might find it difficult to go through the book. In fact, the author himself suggests that the reader read through the book one chapter at a time, as the messages it contains might take some time to sink in. So, he urges the readers to think it through.
The Final Verdict
As a wrap-up to this review, all I can say is that- go for this book. There are many points at which you would feel inspired while reading this book and this should lift the spirits of many of you out there who're battling it out in their lives. This book will teach you how to follow your heart and your gut instincts-no matter what happens.
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By Jay Singh