Book Review – Fall Like A Rose Petal

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TITLE : Fall Like A Rose Petal
AUTHOR : AVIS Viswanathan
PUBLISHER : Westland
GENRE : Non-fiction (Self-help)

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THE AUTHOR

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A life coach, an inspired speaker, author and organizational transformation consultant all packed in one that’s AVIS Viswanathan or Anand Viswanathan, the author of ‘Fall Like a Rose Petal’. An acclaimed speaker, his talks inspire the audience and provoke their thought process.

THE BOOK

Blurb

In early 2008, the author AVIS Viswanathan and Vaani his soul-mate, friend, wife and business partner were staring at a bankruptcy of their Firm. A series of business decisions had literally brought them to the brink of penury, This book is their story, it captures learnings from this excruciatingly painful, Life-changing, phase that they are still going through.

It also explores the nature and continuum of Life. There is no beginning to the story, There is no end either, There are simply experiences, of hopelessness, of fear, of insolvency, of penniless and also of faith, patience, love, companionship, abundance and soul, of integrity and of leading a principled Life, despite temptations to take the easy way out of painful or messy situations.

This book has been written to share how AVIS and his family have learned to be happy despite their circumstances. You too can benefit from their learning and experience and discover the right way of thinking, living, working and winning in Life for yourself!

WHAT I FELT ABOUT THE BOOK

Accelerator

The Cover : Simple yet eye- catching. The white background with the title in black and a rose petal making up the ‘O’ in rose is cool and refreshing.

The Title : “Fall like a rose petal” is catchy and inspiring. Making something so beautiful and delicate like a rose petal a part of the title of a book that deals with the hard facts of life gives us an indication to the nature of lessons and the contents of the book. Even before one starts, one knows it is not going to be heart- wrenching or bitter but is sure to be beautiful like the rose petal and cool and refreshing like ‘gulab ka sharbat’(Rose syrup).

AVIS draws inspiration for the title from a Sufi master. This is what the master had to say to his disciples –

“A rose petal, so delicate, but so strong, doesn’t hesitate about where it is falling, where it is going, whether there is any earth to find, to rest, to go to sleep, to die….Simply trust. Do not the petals flutter down like that?”

Content : Drawn from the author’s personal experience this book is interesting and at the same time touching. The content in the form of letters from a father i.e AVIS to his children Aashirwad and Aanchal are a set of confessions that deal with the raw facts of life especially situations one faces when bankrupt. Though one would expect to see AVIS moaning his condition in the face of abject penury and bankruptcy, it is refreshing to note that there is not even a single instant where he does so. Instead we find him looking at the sunny side of things. There are no harsh words for his creditors be they the local goon or a friend who has set a pack of henchmen on him to extract his debt . There is also no bitterness for the employees who ditched him one fine morning to join his competitor firm or the friends/ acquaintances who failed to help out in trying times. If there is anything here in the pages of the book then it is just love for those who have helped him along the way, forgiveness for those who ditched him when the going was tough and respect for those who stood and still stand by him.

Inspite of being a compilation of letters addressed by the author to his children, ‘Fall like a rose petal’ is an eye-opener, an inspiration or may I say a source of courage to all be it the ordinary man leading a normal life or one who is experiencing end- of- the road situation. This book also inspires one to see the sunny side of things and events however bad/ trying they may be and never lose hope. Above all the book teaches us to live with our problems, draw strength from them, learn our lessons and try and rise likes the phoenix.

Each word, each sentence comes straight from the author’s heart and hence establishes a direct connect with the reader. But does the author preach? No, in fact here he lays bare his failures, the mess his life is on account of some wrong decisions and how he has managed to keep afloat. One must remember that it requires a lot of courage to accept ones failures and speak about them in public. AVIS has proved through the pages of this book that he is a man of grit and determination. The author does not seek the reader’s sympathy but instead seeks their understanding and tries to impart some valuable lessons on survival.

In short ‘Fall like a rose petal’ takes us on a journey through the dark alleys of despair & hopelessness and slowly but steadily guides us towards light. This is a book on self-awareness, soul searching and survival. But what really touched a cord within me is the author referring to his 179 creditors as angels inspite of the fact that some of them have bullied him and his wife so much so that their very life was in jeopardy. Only a big heart can do so.

Language : Language is simple, lucid and crisp. Long winding sentences and chapters generally take away the sheen from a book and tough vocabulary proves to b a stumbling block in the flow. Thankfully AVIS has taken care of these two aspects well. There are no long winding, confusing sentences nor hard to crack vocabulary.

Pace and Length: The pace and length of the book is fine.

Decelerator

Chronology of events/ letters: The chapters are stand- alone ones and the reader need not necessarily start/ read the book from the first chapter itself. However, for someone like me who enjoys reading a book in chronological order, this was a slight disappointment. I personally feel that if the letters were placed in chronological order according to date, it would have been less confusing and more enjoyable.

SO TRUE:

Some Life lessons from the book that I must share-

“The problem with and for all humanity is that we interpret and don’t understand. Each of us is guilty of this. To cure many of the problems that we are confronted with, we must strive to understand each other, as humans, and not rush to interpret.”

“Live with the acceptance and understanding that there will be a few parts of your life that will remain unresolved. This is not escapism. It is simple, practical framework, in fact, to find peace and abundance in life! This is a way of finding bliss- knowing what you have and knowing what you will never have and in accepting both!”

“No dark night can be avoided. And no darkness is permanent. In the end, light will shine on us, and bathe us in joy, peace, love and abundance.”

“Life cannot be confined to business models and debt-equity ratios. The top-line and bottom- line, both, in Life is bliss. Follow it. Live it. You will profit from it.”

WRAPPING UP

Recommendation & Rating: Are you interested in understanding the sunny side of things or do you wish to know how to cope with failures, bankruptcy or penury? Well then do read this. Overall a truly interesting and inspiring read I give this book 4 on a scale of 5.

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Fall Like a Rose Petal

BUYING LINKS

amazon.com II amazon.in II flipkart

rediff.com II sapnaonline II infibeam

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I thank Writersmelon and the author AVIS Viswanathan for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.

Do let me know you’ve been here. Share with me your views on the book and the review. Leave them here in the comment box below.

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4 responses »

    • Thank you Vishal and yes, in times such as these when just one second is enough to shatter our peace we need books like these that spread hope and inspire us to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

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  1. Dear Geeta, thanks so much for this review. It is indeed touching to see people who resonate with our story. We love the way you have summed up the part about “interpreting” as against “understanding”. Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot to us! This review has been carried on the “Fall Like A Rose Petal” page on facebook. Please do see it on this link: https://www.facebook.com/FallLikeARosePetal

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    • Dear Vaani, I must commend you and AVIS for having braved the odds with a smile and for having the courage to share your story with the outside world. In times such as these when just a mere bomb can shatter peace, ruin lives and spread chaos among the masses, books like ‘Fall like a rose petal’ spread hope and instill courage.

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