The first thought that came to my mind after reading Amisha Sethi’s It doesn’t hurt to be nice was that it doesn’t hurt to work a little hard on your manuscript. In the book the author gives us doses of philosophy, especially from the Upanishadas. The book also claims to be journey of the protagonist Kiara and the lessons which she learns.
The worst part is that the lessons of wisdom and Kiara’s life never blend together. They appear disconnected. Even Kiara’s life comes in episodes which are unrelated. As a result the book remains half cooked self-help book and half baked novel. Now half baked food is not what you will savour, right?
Having said that let me tell you what I liked about the book. I liked the conflict between Kiara and her husband. It sounds natural. Anyone can perfectly identify with the characters in this particular piece. I liked the lines like “Giving also means not just giving something to someone but also giving yourself freely – to be submerged in the flow of life without rationalizing every turn and path taken.” I also liked the motto of Kiara’s gang “live and laugh every second.” Age old adage like ‘If things are going your way, it is good. But if they are not relax because it’s going God’s way,” does indeed give some solace to the mind. The following advice is apt for all of us “Make this world a better place by starting with yourself and if at all you want to chase anything, chase the higher purpose of consciousness which is to give selflessly for the betterment of all.”
The incisive advice given in the following lines appealed to me though it sounded outrageous, “Just like your defecate in the morning and detach yourself from your own creation, don’t forget to detach yourself from all the negatives (read shit) in your mind before you hit your bed.”
I also liked the quote from Kamsutra “True love is like a cosmic alignment of one’s body, heart and mind, all dancing to the same eternal tune of happiness and contentment.” On page 39 of the book the author describes Kiara’s boyfriend as “as white as ash.” Now who would be impressed with a boy who is as white as ash? Again at another place she describes Kiara’s daughter as “ a little child” Aren’t all children small?
To conclude though it doesn’t hurt to be nice, this book is simply to be avoided.