Thursday, October 25, 2018

This Way Is Easier Dad- BookTalk

When I was asked to give another book talk, I was searching for the idea I want to share, searching for the book I want to suggest all to read.
Of all the books, this flashed in my mind.
This Way Is Easier Dad by Hari Mohan Paruvu.

More of all, wanted to introduce Anjali and share her thoughts, ideas for the better world. Spending
time with her, I see my child self sharing similar thoughts and at times unlearning the notions I made
during my adulthood. Thanks Harry for writing this book. If not with this book, wouldn’t get an
opportunity to share her ideas on such a big scale.

*Start of the talk*

Introducing Harry as an author and the cricketer,  I started with a question.

“How many of you love to talk?”
Looking at few hands raising up, I said, “even,I love to talk.”
"And now, how many of you love to listen?"
Looking at the perplexed faces, I said,
“Meet the Dad who listened to her daughter, learning lessons and unlearning his notions on
many things.“
Everyone gets an opportunity to listen but, it’s our decision, either to listen & learn or hear &
This Dad not only listened but, also started writing in a journal about the experiences he had with
his daughter. Began in a journal, he realized he can put all this on a blog and started blogging.
With so many thoughts, and experiences came this book, “This Way is Easier Dad.”

One more reason to pick this book is the content I want to share beyond the book. I’m grateful to
spend good time with Anjali as well as the author Harimohan Paruvu. I enjoy their company.
Many stories are shared and memories are created.
Anjali is the kid, who has the clarity of thought, that’s often missed in us. We often think, it’s big
things, big changes, big blows that affect us, changes us and mold us but, NO.
Our thoughts influences our ideas. Our ideas pushes us into action and further it all leads to the life
we’re leading. It all starts at the thoughts and we failed big time keeping it at bay.
Clarity of thought.
Good or Bad. We are judges.  Good judges or bad judges, I don’t comment on it.
We judge everything that come across us without expressing our opinions, thoughts id on

Looking at the confused expression, I said, "Let me explain."

We keep labeling everything good and bad, without expressing our thoughts on it.
Here’s the excerpt from the book I want to share.

Anjali and her friend were standing with a tetra pack of pineapple juice. Another friend of her visits them and says,”Pineapple juice is bad.”

Listening to him for a moment, Anjali asked, “How can it be bad?”

“You can’t say something like that. How can anything be good or bad?”

“If it’s bad for you, say, you did not like it. It’s not the pineapple juice that is bad.
It is you who does not like it.  So how can you say it is bad?”
Aaah. Reading this, all the trivial fights, debates flashed in my mind.
I have friends who fight on the topic of which celebrity is good at acting, which celebrity is not.
Which place is good to visit, which is not. And this list goes on.

How many of you have encountered these kind off talks or debates?
Many  'yes' nods this time.
We always indulge in conversations claiming our choices are good. And our choices are only good.
We miss the whole point of expressing our likes and dislikes to it.
When someone asks how is the movie, they can either say, I like it or I did not like it.
It opens up for a conversations. Further one can ask why,
and they can answer in a specific way about what pleased them and what didn’t.

Leaving these kind of conversation, we thump our chests judging, this is good this is bad.
This is crap, this is gold.

How many times, did we pass the comments influencing many others saying it’s good and bad.
Without creating a space for a dialogue.
I don’t say to stop judging but I urge to emphasize your thoughts and opinions than your judgements.
I had a personal experience with a friend. I’ve a friend who does chest-thumping claiming everything
he likes as a great and the rest as crap without even letting others speak or question. If there are
people who can easily be intimidated.
I can relate to how they feel.  This thought shared by Anjali was an eye opener to me.
I’m a lover of words and language. And I love to study how me make conversations.
Such meaningful conversations helps us to be a better person for a better world.
This clarity of thought is what all of us adults miss.
After reading this chapter in the book. I kept sharing this whenever and wherever possible.
I’d say, this is my biggest take away for the kind of conversation it leads up to.
Talking about conversations, how many of you love to watch interviews?
Why do you watch those interviews?
To know them well right?
Good writers are good observers.
The author of this book wanted to know her daughter well so he asked his daughter
if she could give an interview to him.

Yes, an interview.
The whole purpose of interview is to know other person.  
Not that you would make them sit face to face and shoot with questions.
It’s just that you chat and make a structured conversation with a purpose
always to know the other person well.
The whole idea interviewing the person whom we want to know more surprised me.
I loved this idea and I also implemented it.Trust me I have tried this and  met amazing people.
I shared my interview experience with Carolyn from whom I learnt a lot.
Interviews are the best pages to see Anjali growing throughout the book. I sometimes read just
the interviews one by one to see how Anjali is perceiving the world year by year.
So Hari Mohan interviews Anjali twice in a year and all these interviews tells us how Anjali is
evolving as a person.
Anjali is  content and like all other kids she is vibrant and full of energy.
The positivity she carries is contagious and she is great at giving, also receiving.
This is not in the book but let me share one memorable experience receiving gifts from Anjali.
On a random day Anjali gifted me a keychain and pens. I was surprised by the gifts.
I was touched by the gesture.  There are many gifts with me which I made them by my own
hands but procrastinating waiting for a good occasion which I never really gave.

Giving out heartily is one of the traits I love of Anjali.
Talking about giving, Anjali also has her own ways of asking.
Guitar protest is one of the anecdotes that made me laugh a lot. Here’s the story.

Back then during my first days, I visited Harry’s home to have a conversation.
Nowadays, I go to play with Anjali, spend time with her, listen to her.

I see my child self in her thoughts. When I’m on other side of her thoughts, I find my adultself.
With lot of learning and unlearning, I enjoy her company and enjoy the time spent with her.

If given chance, I can keep talking about the book and Anjali. Let me end with few thoughts.
I quote a famous writer lines,
“The difference between writers and non writers is just that writers write,non writers talk
about wanting to write."
Harimohan not only thought of writing but he actually wrote. He wanted to listen to his daughter.
He wanted to write those experiences.  
With this book, he not only made many people think but he reinstated the statement that everyone
has a childlike in us. I got reminded of my childself reading this book.
I request all the parents to listen to your children.
And all the adults, not to complicate the adulthood with too many notions.

For once and all, this book is for everyone. Thanks for being here and thanks for listening.
*End of the talk*
Many could relate to these stories and one parent wanted to share her daughter’s story.Mentioning the guitar protest, she shared how her daughter get things in her own ways.
My daughter keeps reminding us that, “Naana, we’re going to this place on this day na? Naana we’re gonna eat there after going there na?. Naana, her cycle is fine but I’m gonna get my own cycle na?”
In this way, she keeps telling us that we’re gonna do all this things for her. She puts us in a place where “NO” is never an answer.
I requested everyone to write their response and they surprised me by their words.

These are all the responses I’ve received. The conversations went further even after
the end of the talk. I’m glad I chose this book for the talk. Thanks Harry for writing one.

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