Ankita Sharma, a girl who lives a life which most Indian girls are accustomed to, is the protagonist of Life Is What You Make It by Preeti Shenoy. The book falls in the Young-Adult genre of literature and before reading the book I thought it to be some romantic happy-go-lucky sort of writing. But to my wonder, after I finished reading, I was bound to change my opinion. It is a story of life, the obstacles it offers and how to make most of even the worst situation.
Ankita belongs to a conservative South Indian family and her parents love her a lot. She maintains a long distant relationship with a boy but gradually it appears that truly goes the saying “out of sight, out of mind” and she falls in love with another boy, Abhi. Abhi loves her immensely but Ankita being a careerist oozes emotions up to a certain level and never beyond. She is determined to admit herself as an MBA student in Bombay and, therefore, ready, both physically and mentally, to leave her hometown Cochin. Abhi feels shattered and being a very emotional boy, commits suicide. Ankita, though fails to realize her fault but learns the first lesson of life,” never belittle love”.
Soon they shift to Mumbai and Ankita proves herself to be an extraordinary student. One day after returning from college she confronts her parents who by the time has discovered those letters which her boyfriends wrote to her. Her mother abuses her verbally and destroys all those written evidence of love.This is a crucial turn in the story and destiny begins to play on Ankita. Her story of survival defeating those forces which act in the subconscious strata of mind is painful but inspiring. At some point, one may also think that she has been rightly served for what she had done to Abhi and her several other actions only accentuate her pride for her own self and somewhat selfish nature. But the character has different shades and finally you’ll feel pity for her.
The book also throws light on Bipolar disorder, commonly known as ‘celebrity disorder’.It is really painful to know the phases through which victims of this psychological disease pass through.Every patient who suffers from this needs strong emotional support along with right medication and treatment. Will Ankita ever be able to celebrate being alive? Will she be able to prove herself? The story leads the answer to all these questions in a lucid manner. The way the author narrates the story will surely make the reader engrossed and sensitive towards psychological patients.
It is a story of indomitable spirit and strong will by which one can even become triumphant over destiny. The book touched me as Preeti has chosen a subject which the Indian society has a tendency to misunderstand and she blends the story quite smoothly. The author’s analysis and observation are quite praiseworthy. I recommend this book for a reading over the weekend and an 8/10 from my side.