Bookish Witch

Dare to Live by Himanshu Bhatia

Blurb (as on Amazon):

Imagine you’re at a beach, leisurely enjoying the sun, the sand, and the ocean with your bae. Only the next moment, though, your laptop appears out of thin air and the pristine view is replaced by an excel sheet. Welcome to Atharv’s life!
A free-spirited soul, Atharv is an IIT-IIM graduate who has had an accomplished career, till he lands up with Mandira, a difficult, bordering-on-insane boss who makes her team dance to her tunes. Atharv grapples with the mounting work and the daily pressures of an urban Indian man, as Mandira finds new ways to shatter his confidence and determination. While he battles it out with this virus of a boss and her insane ways of managing work, another virus strikes the world and enters his life.
At times hilarious, at times dramatic, witness this corporate slave’s roller-coaster ride as he plans his retribution from the two viruses and Dares to LIVE!

Genre: Fiction/Corporate Drama

Pages: 154

Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback

My Rating: 4.5/5

Atharv is an IIT-IIM graduate who has had an accomplished career and is quite happy as well as successful in his job. That is until he applies for an inter-company transfer+promotion, and lands in a different team under a different boss aka Mandira. His life takes a turn for the worst, both professionally as well as personally. How does he deal with it all? That’s what this book is all about.

What I liked about the book:

-> The story is quite relatable and authentic. But I especially liked how it is placed between 2016-2020, and that it also covers the Covid-19 pandemic and how it affected everyone’s personal and professional lives.
-> The author has captured minute work related scenarios really well, like how the boss’s ego gets hurt when you try to even hint that they might be wrong, how the boss comes up with different ideas to make you work till odd hours, how they go into frezy when you have a long leave coming up, etc.
-> Atharv’s parents and wife have been portrayed really well. Their support of Atharv makes us understand the value of having an understanding family and partner.
-> The plot gives all sections and age groups of readers certain lessons. As a corporate professional, you learn how your growth is directly proportional to the type of manager you have. As a senior or a leader, you learn how important it is to manage your subordinates well and provide them with a working environment that helps them work to the best of their abilities.

What I did not like about the book:

-> The tone of narration seems monotonous, and makes the reading a little boring and predictable.
-> You find yourself frustrated with Atharv for being a pushover and not taking a stand against Mandira right till things go out of hand.

Quotable quotes:

-> There are always a few people in your life who don’t deserve your respect.
-> It is quite easy to make people happy as long as you think positively for them. When you don’t, sooner or later they realize that all your care and concern is superficial.
-> Between our mutual love for tea and hate for our boss, we found fertile ground for friendship.
-> One needs to realize that one can’t plan absolutely everything. It has to be realistic.
-> One must keep oneself updated to sustain with the changes, as one must update others regarding changes in plans that concern them.
->People who aren’t well placed in their personal life definitely make things worse for their peers at work.
-> There are two ways of doing everything- a simple way and a complicated way! Great leaders make complicated things simple for their followers, while incompetent leaders complicate even the simplest of things for others.
-> You shouldn’t lose your ethical grounds because the other person is wrong or lacks common sense.
-> Don’t think too much about everything. Life is very short and you can’t expect it to get any better.
->Real life is far too complicated and non-poetic than films and books.
-> Things don’t bother you until they start affecting you.
-> Prevention is better than cure and cure is better than ignorance.
-> It is the litte things and some kind words that make one a fine professional and a good person. When you make others feel valued, they are more willing to do things for you.
-> An immature professional never accepts a fault, even in the face of truth.
->When you lie to people and manipulate them, it hurts.
-> Immature leaders have ruined many careers, or worse, lives.
-> You shouldn’t make an opinion/ inference on someone too early without drilling down deeper.
-> While the pandemic isn’t under control, you are your own master. Don’t let a virus sow the seeds of negativity in your feelings and attitude. Don’t become a negative person, no matter how difficult the situation. Don’t ruin the life and mental peace of another human being, pushing them to quit on things. Hold on to your humanity, your empathy, and your humility even after the pandemic recedes. Be a good human being.

Check out the book here:

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