What if co-incidences in our lives are nothing but a result of a dice thrown by some higher being? What if, to the heavens, our lives are nothing but rows of dominos ready to be put into action? What if we all are mere pieces of pawns carefully played upon by a cosmic chessmaster? ‘That Thing About You’ is an uncommon story of a common man rejected in love. This is a story of a man walking on the path of self-discovery. Subodh, a regular IT employee, is perceived as an immature man by everyone, but he isn’t bothered until his love interest rejects him citing the same. Although dejected and crestfallen, he soon befriends an unusual, mysterious woman who knows everything about him and seems to have all the answers. Soon, his life goes through a lot of unexpected turns—from doubting his sanity and visiting a psychologist to a failed arranged marriage attempt made by his parents. Everything in his life seems to be in fast-forward mode. One thing that does not change, however, is this unusual “friend” of his who refuses to reveal her identity and chooses to appear at her whim. Who is this mysterious woman? Why is she prying into his life? Where will this strange friendship lead him? Is some impending danger awaiting Subodh or is it something else altogether?
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback
- Kindle eBook: 49 INR/ $3.00
- Paperback (available only in India): 198 INR
My Ratings: 4.4/5
A simple story with an unexpected twist. Subodh is your normal everyday guy who takes life too seriously, without thinking beyond his 9 to 5 job. Like most people, he has his flaws which he knows about, but is unwilling to accept or work upon. All this changes with the entry of a certain girl. But wait, there’s something off about this girl. Why can’t anyone else but Subodh hear her? Is she even real? Read this book to find out the secret and the answer is definitely not what you think.
What I liked about the book:
—> It begins with the right note to get your curiosity hooked.
—> Subodh’s character is a highly relatable one; meaning he is either like us or like someone we personally know.
—> The conversations between Subodh and Kalpana which are so insightful.
—> The subtle changes in Subodh after the entry of Kalpana, especially his decision about why he needs to let go of Kalpana.
—> Makes us realise that we need to listen to our subconscious mind and follow it more consciously,because deep down we’re all aware of what our flaws are and what we need to changes in ourselves in order to grow and become a better person but lack the motivation or willingness to do so.
—> The twist in the end which was seriously unexpected.
What I did not like about the book:
—> Despite Kalpana telling Subodh about his misgivings, Subodh continues to be an immature and indisciplined guy, which I found annoying as a reader.
—> Some scenes and dialogues could have been done away with.
—> The ending was a little confusing and left some questions unanswered.
—> The equation between Subodh and his flat mate could have been explored more.
—> It is curiosity which is driving this whole universe.
—> “Do you know what is the biggest enemy of humankind? It is boredom — the monotony. The mundane life of ours which passes day by day uneventfully without any special moments of joy or pain is dreadful.
—> Even a pawn makes a move, sometimes two steps in the beginning. How small or limited it may be, it can never be overlooked. Remember, it is a pawn and only the pawn which gets promoted once it reaches the other side of the chessboard. If a pawn, saddened by its abilities, stops making any move, it can never evolve into something greater. We have to make moves, my friend, to progress.
—> Men and water shouldn’t stay at the same place for long.
—> As a crowd, humans are indeed predictable, but as individuals they are different.They are all different, my friend. They are all unique.
—> Seeing things as they are from up close is different than watching it from far away.
—> Being dissatisfied is good. Ninety percent of the people are not happy with their jobs. The remaining ten percent don’t deserve their jobs in the first place.
—> No matter how much you travel, it is never enough.
—> The vast mountains, the sublime scenery made me realize how petty, small and insignificant we humans are in the grand scheme of the universe.
—> Some people feel more deeply than others even with less exposure. People are hard to predict. The same music which moves one person to tears has little or no effect on the other.
—> The process of becoming is of greater consequence than being.
—>Life is a journey, my friend. And we never know whether we will reach our destination. So we shouldn’t care about that and enjoy the view while we are still travelling.
—> Most of the times, things never happen the way we expect it.
—> Reaction to every action? It doesn’t work that way with a human heart. Human mind resembles the quantum world. Always uncertain. Beyond any explanation.
—> It is our expectation of how things should be, it is our anticipation of the future, which puts us in a state of misery. Of all the kinds, the worst heartbreak is that which is caused by unrequited love.
—> It is the first heartbreak that wounds us the most. Heartbreaks at a young age prepare us for the future. They make us practical. They are, in fact, absolutely necessary.
—> Pottery is just like love. One needs to be patient and soft.
—> Only in works of fiction, the stories have a happy ending, but in real life, it is not so, is it? These stories give us a false account of life. It’s always the bad that prevails in the end and not the good as we are often made to believe.
—> We are nothing but just puppets in this world. The strings are in the control of a cosmic puppeteer who is none other than the divine God himself. We are here on Earth just to play the roles assigned to us. In the end, everything is destined.
—> There is no such thing as free will then it means there is no need for police, judiciary and legal system. No free will means the criminals and law offenders can’t be held responsible for what they have done. No, it can’t be. Free will is real. It should be. People must be held accountable for what they do. Otherwise, this world doesn’t make any sense. And if God is really out there, then there are all the more reasons for free will to exist. If everything is predestined, what’s the fun in that? Humans must surprise the Almighty at times.
—> To feel is good. In fact, the problem with this world is that people think too much and feel too little.
—> Those were the days. Eat, sleep, play, study, and repeat. Life was so simple when we were children.
—> With each piece of work, a writer blossoms into a different person, and re-discovers himself further.
—> Is there a rulebook that says adults can’t enjoy swinging during the night time? We all adore pictures of Krishna and Radha sitting on a swing made up of flowers. Don’t we?
—> There are many things which we can’t perceive, but still we believe them to be real and true.
—> God is an idea. It prevents us from insanity. Moreover, it is satisfying to believe that this universe has an order.
—> Work always moved slowly during Mondays and Fridays. On Mondays, people spent their time on accustoming themselves and getting back to the workaholic routine from the chill weekend that had just ended. On Fridays, people were busy speculating about the coming weekend and left the office as soon as they could. It was the Wednesdays and the Thursdays, which were the busiest, and when the tensed employees including him worked to their full potential.
—> Walking every day has the same hormonal effects as eating up a bar of chocolate.
—> A habit is stronger than love or even hate.
—> The problem with you is not whether you are really an immature person. The problem instead is – you are deeply concerned about the perceptions of others.
—> What is love if not a fairy tale meant for adults? You idealise about it, just like you do it in other aspects of your life. Love is not just something that happens. Love is what one decides to offer to someone.
—> Ask a five-year-old or a person who is just going to step into a grave. Everyone is eager to tell what love is.
—> Everyone,at some point in time, experiences love and experience is a better teacher than just books.
—>I know life is not rainbows and butterflies, but I’d rather die delusional than being a mature cynic.
—> A man is not mature unless he gets a certificate of maturity from a woman.
—> When one loves a person, one doesn’t wish to control or possess them. Instead, one wants to be by their side all the time. Whereas when one likes someone, one wishes to own or have control over them, just in a way a child is obsessed with a toy he likes.
—> A person has two personalities. The first that is real that is what a person really is. And the second is what one projects in public.
—> “But how will I know if I really fall in love with someone in the future?”
“Don’t worry about it. When it happens with the right person, you will automatically come to know. It will be as easy as breathing is.”
—> I can understand people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. These substances alter the state of one’s mind. But smoking, on the other hand, does nothing. It results in only one thing—which is, damaging one’s body. Smoking is just plain stupid. It is a result of people not being strong enough to give up their pointless compulsion.
—> “We all have been disciplined in our childhood days by our parents, our teachers, or our elders. It is only during our teenage years that we are truly free. But this teenage state of freedom comes at a horrifying price.”
“And what is that?”
“The price of being lost in the perpetual state of confusion, uncertainty, and a world of endless possibilities.”
“Okay. How do human beings deal with it?”
“We deal with it by reinforcing the discipline, but this time, by ourselves. It is we alone who are responsible for keeping a check on ourselves. The teenage years are times of confusion, uncertainty, and horrifying freedom. Sooner or later, we all understand that this total freedom is not worth having.”
—> At some point in our lives, we all unknowingly realize that the discipline we freed ourselves from during the adolescent years is the only thing that keeps us sane.
—> “You want to suggest that all great men were, in fact, immature?”
“Some are mature enough that they don’t speak their minds. Some are so mature that they know they are not mature.”
“Those who made a difference in this world, they were all immature. Right?”
“Not exactly. But yes, they were indeed immature in the sense that they refused to adapt themselves according to their surroundings. They refused to be like others. They chose to be rebels.”
—> Not all the things in the world are done out of one’s liking for it. A mature man does things out of a sense of responsibility, irrespective of whether he likes doing it or not.
—> Changing one’s personality, especially after a certain age, is almost impossible.
—> Only those who are intelligent can change their minds. The rest are damaged permanently due to indoctrination. A lower IQ makes a person less malleable.
—> Change is possible only if one knows what has to be changed.
—> People prefer to remain in the dark than to accept the harsh truth about themselves.
—> At the beginning of any change, one’s life is always in chaos.
—> People look beautiful when they smile.
—> What one finds beautiful, the other finds it repulsive.
—> How can someone fall in love with a person who is whining all the time? Forget how the face looks, —hideous or attractive.
—> It is impossible to fall in love with a person who complains all the time.
—> This is the problem with the youth of today. They are all in haste. Reach a seven and eight-figure income before others do. Buy a big car first. Be the first one to book a three-bedroom flat in a posh society. The youth of today are racing each other to a never-ending horizon and want to be the first ones to get there.
—> The problem with the world is that people are busy searching for keys but don’t know the locks that they would open.
—> A soulful woman loves a man not for who he is, but for what he may become.
—> It isn’t true love if it doesn’t arouse extreme emotions.
—> What do you think all of us are here for? Certainly not to seek happiness. We are not here to enjoy. We are here to feel. Experiencing emotions is what human minds are made for. Emotions of every kind. A full gamut. A life spent on experiencing sentiments that lie at only one side of the spectrum is no life at all.
—> We shouldn’t avoid grief. Instead, we should welcome despair in our lives with open arms. For it makes us who we are. It makes us complete.
—> One day you will realize that the best kind of love is the one that results in the profoundest level of melancholy. Longing for someone whom you have never been with or desiring someone, who, for some reason, can’t ever be yours, are the kinds of pain that must be embraced and endured. It’s a privilege to feel sad because of love. For it means the love has served its purpose. As it evoked the emotions in us that we were never ready for. It’s a privilege to feel. And misery, my friend, is necessary. Otherwise, happiness would lose its charm.
—> It isn’t love if it doesn’t make us happy.
—> True love evokes extreme emotions.
—> You are afraid of making a choice, for you lack convictions.
—> Unless we make a choice, everything seems to be possible. This possibility, this freedom is so horrifying that people eventually choose wisdom over knowledge. They choose what is really worth knowing about, rather than just knowing about everything.
—> Isn’t a person who doubts better than a person who has strong blind beliefs?
—> We all need convictions. We need strong convictions to remain sane. They are shells that protect us and in which we all hide. A person without strong convictions is a confused one. A confused person, in turn, bears the characteristics of an immature person.
—> It is good to be curious, but too much curiosity without a direction is as harmful as being uninterested. The problem with this thirst for knowledge is—it’s unquenchable. The more one learns the more curious one becomes. It’s a never-ending quest.
—> Not every kind of knowledge is good. One must confine one’s curiosity to a single direction.
—> Not everyone is meant for greatness. You have to be a cog in the system.
—> An ordinary life without any chaos is much more fulfilling. You need to have strong, unbreakable beliefs. It doesn’t matter whether your beliefs are right or wrong. Strong opinions and strong beliefs bring stability to a person.
—> As Nietzsche said, the question shouldn’t be ‘What can we know?’ rather, it should be ‘What is good for us to know?’
—> With time, people understand that it is more important to be wise than honest.
—> If you still can’t lie, at least be silent and tactful about it. If you can’t fake your emotions, at least be devious about it.
—> Office is not the place to be what you are. At the workplace, people team up together to accomplish a task that is given to them. At the workplace, one is expected to hide one’s emotions and work along with even those people one doesn’t like at all.
—> A man who has got accustomed to the pestering of a woman is indeed ready for marriage.
—> No one wants to listen to any advice from others, especially after a certain age.
—> Everyone has personal commitments. But, at times, we have to give priority to our work over those commitments.
—> At times, there are things which have no meaning at all. Don’t bother much about it.
—> Despite so many advances in science, how our mind works is still a mystery. We don’t have the faintest idea why we see elaborate dreams.
—> We humans liken this life of ours to an exam. We believe that our life is nothing but a test. And no one but God or some higher power is behind it. We all have to pass this test. Failing is not an option. What you see in your dream is the literal representation of your view of life.
—> It is such a horrific experience, failing in the exam of life.
—> Exams, be it our schools or our college, were the most stressful times of our life. Not only you but also people who are in their late sixties too see dreams of such sorts. As long as you feel that you are not faring well in your life, you will have dreams like these. Age doesn’t matter. A student’s life is tough. No matter how much old one gets, one still fears to fail in the exams.
—> It is not the knowledge, lofty thinking or intelligence which makes someone a mature person. It is the number of responsibilities one is burdened with which decides if a person is one. There are people who at their early age when they were children, were overloaded with lots of responsibilities. Such precocious children are far more mature than many of the adults who have few or little commitments.
—> The only key to greatness is humiliation; self or public.
—> Everyone hates crowded places, but we all bear with that because this is how Mumbai life is.
—> There is nothing eerier than a boy dejected in love.
—> India is still not a country where people voluntarily take the step of coming alone to psychologists.
—> Perhaps if everyone listened to troubled people, tried understanding them, no one would have to come to these psychologists.
—> Staying alone and doing nothing makes a person have random thoughts.
—> A secret is what everyone knows but refuses to admit it in front of others.
—> I am that fool who is paying for being a responsible and disciplined person. If being disciplined is synonymous with being a boring person, I am happy to accept that title. If only you had a little sense of maturity, which you label as boring, you would understand what taking responsibilities in one’s life is.
—> Sometimes, the very foundations which support us are wrong, and the only way left is to obliterate it altogether and rebuild from scratch.
—> Like everyone, he hated the middle seat, for the armrests never belonged to the person occupying it, and one had to stand whenever the person at the window seat wanted to use the loo. Also, the world outside the plane window was less accessible to the person sitting in that unfortunate place. All in all, everything about the middle seat was worth complaining about.
—> We are just specks of dust in this whole universe.
—> Death finds its way through different means and with different excuses.
—> There are times when even simple words and remarks hold much deeper meaning and questions that are difficult to evade.
—> Old people have nothing much to ask about except the weather and the food.
—> Only after leaving one’s hometown, one realizes the importance of it.
—> It is unusual for a father and a son not to quarrel and not to show disrespect to each other.
—> If a son has a peaceful relationship with his father, if neither of them ever shows contempt for the other, then either the father is a fool, or the son is.
—> Marriage is the beginning of a relationship, which is not just between two people but between two families as well.
—> Life is not a list of checkboxes that we have to tick off sequentially one after another. Got a degree? Tick. Booked a house under my name? Tick. Got married? Tick. Had Children? Tick. All this sound too cliché, too depressing. These are acts which people do under the influence of peer pressure, mimicking each other, and not willingly as a genuine choice of their own.
—> Why do you think people still like to listen to music on the radio? Because there is an element of surprise in it. One listens to songs which one hadn’t planned on listening to.
—> It’s funny how a single decision, how insignificant it may seem, changes one’s life forever.
—> One shouldn’t do things just because one feels an inclination for it.
—> Life isn’t about possessing the things that one desires.
—> One doesn’t need a person to be perfect so as to fall in love with. People fall in love with each other accepting each other’s quirkiness and imperfections.
—> “You can do it. You are just afraid of a change in your life.”
“Probably you are right,”
“You will overcome this. It is normal. Everyone in this world is fearful of changes,”
—> There are certain things which we should never question in life.