- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors; First edition (17 April 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9387022609
- ISBN-13: 978-9387022607
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 277 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wake Up, Life is Calling Paperback – 17 Apr 2019
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About the Author
Preeti Shenoy is the bestselling author of Life is What You Make It and eleven other titles. Her books have been translated into several Indian and foreign languages. She is among the highest-selling authors in India. She is also a speaker, columnist, and artist. Preeti has been featured on BBC, Conde Nast, Verve, India Today and all other major media.
From the Publisher
1. How would you introduce your latest book Wake Up, Life is Calling?
Preeti Shenoy: My latest book Wake Up, Life is Calling is a sequel to Life is What you Make it, which is one of the biggest books of Indian publishing and which continues to top the charts even 8 years after its release. That book ends with Ankita dropping out of the MBA course, and completing her treatment successfully at the mental hospital, and joining a new course – something she wanted to do, but never had the courage for. Though that book tells you in the epilogue what happened 15 years later, it doesn’t tell you the story leading up to that. The sequel takes us through the first year of that journey. She joins a new course – Creative Writing, and everything is fine on the surface. However, there is trouble brewing, deep within.
2. This is a sequel to Life is What You Make it, one of the highest selling books in India, which has been in the top 10 of Nielsen’s bestseller list consistently. What was your inspiration to take the story forward? Preeti Shenoy: I had never thought that I would come back and write a sequel. Life is What You Make It was an extremely difficult book to write, and it took a lot out of me.
I had done two years of academic research, and have so much material. I had to then simplify it in order for it to be relatable. I began seeing everything through Ankita’s eyes.
It would leave me feeling drained and depressed. So I had decided that I would never again write about mental health, as it took a toll on me.
- But it looks like Ankita wasn’t done with me yet
- It took eight years (and nine more books in those eight years) for her to emerge and emerge she did
- This book was also equally hard to write.
- But once the story came to me, it took over me, and I just had to write it.
- I was like a woman possessed. Now that it is finally out, I feel at peace.
3. The book revolves around the life of a dynamic young girl who fights bipolar disorder bravely, and constantly fights to fit into the so-called normal world
How difficult was it to write such a story?
Preeti Shenoy: This one was probably harder to write than the first. In the first one, Ankita has no clue what is going to hit her. Here, she has emerged out of the mental hospital. She has been through hell and back. She is wary. She is terrified. Yet she is desperate to fit in. She has been out of the ‘normal world’ for so long, that every tiny thing is a celebration. I am sharing a paragraph from the book:
Giddy with exhilaration, I entered the college building, an imposing structure – a white multi-storied building that stood like a fortress. A black-board at the entrance welcomed us – the new batch of students of the creative writing course - and directed us to the fifth floor, where our classrooms were located. My classroom, surprisingly, had long red curtains that billowed ceiling to floor.
The windows overlooked treetops, and there was nature all around. The parrots perched on branches were surely a good omen. The afternoon sun cast rainbows in the room, the light filtering in through the redness of the curtains. I loved my classroom instantly. This was even better than St. Agnes!
I had been locked away from the world for so many months. For everyone else in the classroom, all of this was not anything unusual or extraordinary. But I stared at the benches, the blackboard – everything. It had been such a long time since I had seen any institution other than a mental hospital. I revelled in this atmosphere, soaking in every tiny detail. I loved it all! It was my own personal slice of heaven. ‘At last I am here,’ I high-fived myself as I made my way to the back of the classroom.
4. What message do you intend to send out to your readers through this book?
Preeti Shenoy: The tagline of the book is ‘When your mind is your greatest enemy.’ The core message is the same as the first book: That with love, hope and determination, we can overcome anything. We do not have much control over what happens to us. But we do have control over what we choose to focus on. The book demonstrates how by changing our thoughts, we can change our life itself.
5. How challenging was it to continue the story around a character that you created close to a decade ago?
Preeti Shenoy: I had actually forgotten some of the finer details, as I had written it so many years back, and there were many books after that. I usually forget about a book after I write it, as I immerse myself in the next book. I went back and read the book.
And then I thought ‘Oh! This book is so interesting! No wonder people still love it!’ I then had to make detailed notes about timelines, characters and events, in order to write the second.
6. What message would you give to people who fight ordeals related to any kind of mental illness in life and are struggling to make a place for themselves in the mainstream society?
- Do not be ashamed to go and seek help from a professional
- Do not ever give up. FIGHT it
- Things WILL get better. Do not lose hope
- Believe in positivity, focus on everything that is going RIGHT
- If you are on medication, please continue it
- Do not share your details with everyone
These are lessons that Ankita learnt. (And I learnt while doing my research!)
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I felt free
I felt light
I felt wonderful
I felt alive
Life was calling and I was awake.
Well I'm pretty confused where should I start I finished this boom in morning 4 am and now I want to sleep but, my eyes filled with tears. Everyone have different types friends in life.
There are two types of friends one who enjoy with you and other one who helps to grow. You have first type of friends because of same interest. And second type of friends are hard to get those you help to see reality of life. Who tells you truth no matter what.
Do you have such friend? I'm glad i have.
This book revolves around such topics Friendship, truth, etc. Our Protagonist ankita have a dark past who is trying to cope up with up. She started her new life in bombay. She got new friends parul and janki. She is living happily with them.
While visiting library she found a old book named "The best way to go home book" which is written on suside notes. She stared reading it. Vaibhav another character becomes her close friends. But, as I already said are they real friends? There helped ankita to get rid or something or betrayed her? Read this awesome book.
I can feel all emotions ankita had. Author has did great job while narration such a great book. I was unable to put book aside after 60 to 70 pages. The characters are well developed and described. The plot is good going. This book is must to know what types of friends we have.
Ankita !! I have no words for you. You are perfect in your own way. Who did exactly what needs to be done. You have all strength and determine which inspired to look forward. I know you're emotional yet smart. Your up and downs emotional turmoils, insecurities, hopes and lots of life lessons will definitely help us to grow.
-your friend ronak
Guys do pick up this book. I have no words to explain further. Just read it and let me know your thoughts. It's highly recommend to everyone.
Ps. Its second part of #lifeiswhatyoumakeit still you can read this with more powerful words, narration and everything.
Ankita is out in the world. She wants to erase her past and start all over. But the return of her boyfriend and encounter with a book throuws her off track. One after the other external circumstances build up new challenges for her. Are these just circumstances or is she going back to square one? Down with Bipolar?
The book is deep. A reader looking for entertainment would not be able to enjoy it. This book is purely targeted at people who needs help. Help doesn't mean psychological problems. Help means the issues you face in your day to day life, small and big. It is a pointer to show that sometimes it's not your problem. It is how you deal with it. The character of Mrs. Hayden is exemplary. The visualisation exercises mentioned by her, though a creation of the the author is brilliant. It takes off in a tough phase and hence the pace is slow but slowly gains momentum. Nonetheless the book is not an easy read but a deep read. It is a fictional self help book.
After Life is What You Make It, authors further books were more or less overrated or camouflaged by the fans who she made from the book. Hence the expectations were high and different but sadly she couldn't reach the mark she set with the book or may be she got carried away with the need to keep up with the bestseller list. But this one, it is evident that author has put her heart and soul into it. Her bleeding heart is evident in how she dealt with Ankita. This is the Preeti Shenoy. Or Preeti Shenoy is back, so to speak.
The emotional Turmoil, the anxiety, the insecurities and hopes of Ankita, along with lots of life lessons which she got, is something that everyone can correlate to. I like the way her messed up and obsessive thoughts are mentioned in the book. Breaking down the stigma around mental health, this book helps us see mental illness from the perspective of the person that suffers with it day in and day out.
The character of Ankita is very-well developed, but the other characters, especially Vaibhav, seemed vaguely developed. Also, the narration is not much smooth, as the book gets boring somewhere in the middle.
The ending of the story is uplifting and shows how severe mental illness can be treated. The book demonstrates how by changing our thoughts, we can change our life itself. The author has written various words of wisdom, in the form of Ankita's Life's Little Notes, which made the book much more engaging.