Author: Sneha Mehta
Publisher: Random House India
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After ‘Siya Seth Decides to Die’ and ’21 things every girl should know’, Sneha Mehta has come up with her third book- Change Your Life, an amalgamation of new age healing techniques and spiritual healers. This book can be considered a light introduction to some new-age therapeutic practices.
What is the book about?
Change Your Life is a compilation of Mehta’s encounters with various spiritual healers. She meets 11 prominent personalities to find out more about them and the technique of spiritual healing that they master. Even if you aren’t a person who reads about spirituality or likes self-help books, some of these names might still be familiar to you. For instance there is Bejan Daruwala, the famous astrologer, Sanjay Jumani, the numerologist sought after by celebrities, or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar associated with the Art Of Living.
Mehta has carried out a conversation with each of these people and brings to light the beliefs and science that governs each of these methods. Even when she speaks of profound topics like spirituality and healing through ‘paranormal’ methods, she keeps the language very simple. She explains each of these topics in a layman’s terms and often asks questions that you and I would ask too, like a skeptic. She navigates very easily through understanding the process and cites some stories where the power of each of these methods has benefited people.
The idea behind Change Your Life carried a lot of potential but Sneha Mehta hasn’t really been able to do justice to it. The book is categorized under Self-help section, and maybe the author is trying to help by introducing the various ways with which you could solve your problems. But, the book ends up confusing the reader, more than helping. It has too many methods and concepts that don’t go in sync with each other. In one chapter you are told that the position of the planets and stars affect your life, while the next chapter tells you that it is your past life events that culminate into your present life problems and yet another chapter will tell you that the fault lies in the numbers.
There is nothing cohesive about the book. In fact, I felt like I was reading 11 different books. Mehta had access to 11 different ideologies and she could have brought them together on one platform, to solve common issues, rather than dedicating one chapter to each.
This should be taken more like a beginners guide. Perhaps, she could have picked fewer concepts and given them more attention than just squeezing everything together. Although, I appreciate the author keeping her language simple, it is the use of “Hinglish” that disturbs me. When you write about spirituality in India you can’t help but use certain Hindi terms like “Karma” or “dev”, but writing half of your dialogue in Hindi and the rest in English or suddenly using a Hindi sentence in the middle of the explanation was disorienting to read.
I read in the author’s introduction that she is a practitioner of The Emotional Freedom Technique (one of the 11 mentioned in the book), and in the book she claims to have tried some of these methods for a day or two. Apart from that, the author writes this book purely as an outside observer. She gives some case studies but, apart from 1 or 2, they largely sound like the stories you hear and dispense as baseless rumors. They lack the depth and hence don’t arouse the curiosity that they should. (A good example of interesting case studies could be found in Brian Weiss’ “Only Love is Real”)
I finished this book with two questions in my mind. Why was this book written? At its best it gives you snapshots of various healing methods. At its worst, it is written with just one source, albeit the most prominent one in the field, it doesn’t tell you all that you would want to know. How do I use this to change my life? The book revolves more around information than application. If you want to change your life you will probably have to contact one of the gurus (contact information given at the end of the book). Pick this book only if you want a first look at the new age healing techniques, without any expectations of deeper insight.