A Conversation With Shama Patel

21 Ways of Being Happy – review | paperback | eBook

BLW: Let’s welcome the successful Indian author Shama Patel to Book Lovers World. Shama is a Psychologist and an Author of a recently launched book titled ”21 Ways of Being Happy”. She is an empathetic soul with a creative mind and a beautiful heart which has touched the lives of many young adults, couples, senior citizens and several others who she has met in her journey of life. She has also helped various alcoholics, drug addicts and survivors of abuse and human trafficking in their healing process.

Shama Patel: Thank you so much for those kind words. It is my pleasure to connect with you over happiness :).

BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the grand success of your debut book ‘’21 Ways of Being Happy’’. Tell us a little about yourself.

Shama Patel: Thank you for your wishes 🙂 About me! I love spending time with nature, reading books, listening to music, writing, painting, sketching and exploring varied facets of my Being. I am a seeker, an altruist, an artist, a speaker, a Psychologist and an Author. And the search continues! 😉

BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book 21 Ways of Being Happy, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea of writing on a topic that still seems to be a riddle to most of us? How long did it take to write this book?

Shama Patel: Haha Thank you so much! I am humbly flattered 🙂 ’21 Ways of Being Happy’ is my journey of understanding and knowing life from a less intimidating point of view. It encompasses the knowledge that I have managed to gain about human life through my personal experiences and that of my clients’.

I believe that as human beings,
we are created out of happiness
and this remains our core.

The idea of writing on this subject came from my publishers Grapevine India who were venturing into the world of self-help books. What they had in mind was writing the ways of finding happiness and what I was determined to write was on the barriers that we all, as human beings, build around us to keep that happiness away. When I began to write this book, I did not perceive happiness as a mere feeling but, I believe that as human beings, we are created out of happiness and this remains our core whether we believe it or not. What we do in the journey of moving forward is that we keep adding one barrier after the other (the reasons to be unhappy) and blur our creation. In this materialistic race, we constantly struggle to become someone else and abandon our true self. When I understood the concept of embracing the ‘self’ and began practicing it, I saw the difference in the way I perceived life before and after. When I embraced myself with all my flaws and imperfections, I began to fall in love with my life and this gave me courage to withstand the challenges that I encountered in my life. Since it made a positive difference in my life, I became more determined to reach this concept to others with a hope that it might make them feel less threatened and less burdened about life.

It took me three months to write this book 🙂 Usually the writer begins the home work after getting the subject. However, in my case, I had the home work done beforehand and was later presented with the subject.

BLW: 21 Ways of Being Happy is a self-help book and a perfect healer of murkiness in life. We would like to know the home work you did to write this book.

Shama Patel: I lived my life through ups and downs and began an inward journey to grow as a person. I also assisted fellow human beings deal with their life situations, through Counseling. I consider this as my homework, a homework that I did (and still doing) not with the intention of writing a book but, with the intention of spreading goodness within and around.

BLW: What inspired you to write this book?

Shama Patel: Writing/Book was a medium through which I could reach out to numerous people at a time, unlike Counseling where the reach is limited. The 21 ways mentioned in my book have tremendously helped me in my personal life and have equally benefitted my clients all throughout. Hence, I was almost compelled to share my journey and reach this out to as many people as possible 🙂

BLW: What was your learning from writing your book?

Shama Patel: I learned that writing is a profound creative process. It is a way to connect with self and the creative Universal force within and around. If a person writes thinking of name, fame, popularity (post publishing), the person is bound to be surrounded with critical voices reminding the writer that the work may not be good. When one connects with self and considers writing as a process of self-discovery, being both the writer and the reader in the process, the writing that comes out then is purely from the heart. This learning helped me grow not just as a writer but also as a human being.

BLW: 21 Ways of Being Happy deals with psychological aspect. Would you be sticking to one preferred style and genre in future?

Shama Patel: Since I have signed the contract to write self-help books, the genre would be same. The style is something that I would leave it to time and the creative forces 🙂

BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?

Shama Patel: I am a night person so my creative forces become active usually after 10-11pm and I often find myself writing till 5-6am. I have a piece of (instrumental) music which I play sometimes, especially at times when the creative forces decide to go on a break.

BLW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Shama Patel: Hahaha. I was a completely different person then! As a child, I wanted to be an Air Hostess, a Fashion Designer, Interior Decorator and/or have a career in Hotel industry (hotel management). All these because people around me said I would be good at it and it seemed ‘cool’ then!

BLW: What are your inspirations?

Shama Patel: ‘Life’ is, and will always be my inspiration.

BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?

Shama Patel: The Forty Rules of Love (Elif Shafaq), Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse), Miracles of Mindfulness (Thich Nhat Hanh), Practicing the Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle), Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert) and many more.

BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?

Shama Patel: Currently I am eating, breathing, sleeping and walking ’21 Ways of Being Happy’. Once I feel that the book is now settled in the Universe, I will begin the second book which will most likely be on relationships.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Shama Patel: Secret skills!!!! I am an artist 🙂 I love to pencil sketch and play with colors.

BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. We know you enjoy reading books? What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.

Shama Patel: The Forty Rules of Love, Eat Pray Love, Shantaram, Siddhartha, and Stillness Speaks. I am tempted to list down many more!

BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?

Begin the journey of writing by writing for yourself.

Shama Patel: Firstly, I wish to express my humble gratitude to all those who’ve appreciated my work and encouraged me on this journey. My only message to all the aspiring authors is – Begin the journey of writing by writing for yourself. Connect with your writing and become aware of the ways it helps you grow as a person. Connect with yourself before aiming to connect with readers. To me, that is when you become your words rather than being the one who writes these words.

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Shama Patel: Embrace the life in you. Fall hopelessly and unconditionally in love with your ‘Self’. When you fill your heart with profound love, you begin to spread love and happiness in this Universe by just being YOU!

Thank you so much for your time. It’s our pleasure to chat with you…

Book Review: Without You by Preethi Venugopala

This book is a perfect read during journey.

The Blurb:

When Ananya, a bubbly twenty-year-old engineering student, reaches her Grandmother’s house in Sreepuram on a month long vacation, romance is the last thing on her mind. However, she meets Dr. Arjun there and falls head over heels in love.

As it often happens, the path of true love never runs smooth. Circumstances force them apart even though they were madly in love. She becomes a victim of depression. When everything fails to return her to normalcy, help arrives from an unexpected source. Will she ever find happiness again? Will time allow her heart to heal and forget Arjun? What indeed is true love?

Travel with Ananya to the picturesque Sreepuram, face the chaos of Bengaluru, and relish the warmth of magical Dubai in this heartwarming tale of love, betrayal, friendship and miracles.

Excerpt:

From the very first time, I had heard about Arjun, my heart had become partial to him. As though it had recognized destiny’s cue that he was not just a glorified stranger. After meeting him, my heart had become obsessed with him. It convinced me that he was someone who wouldn’t let me down, someone who wouldn’t hurt me. Like building a sandcastle with loose, dry sand, which had in its destiny only failure, I was yearning to be connected with him without waiting for time to induce love. Oh, how I wished he would fall in love with me.

About the Author:

Preethi Venugopala is a Civil Engineer by education and an avid blogger, artist by passion. After working in many prestigious civil engineering projects for more than a decade, she quit her job to become a full time mother. Meanwhile, she took a Masters Degree in English Literature to complete her dream of studying English literature. She tried her hand successfully at crafts, crocheting, portraiture and painting before venturing into writing.

She has been published in two anthologies, ‘The Second Life’ and ‘Blank Space ‘. Another anthology ‘Á Little Chorus of Love’ is to be published soon. She is a regular contributor to many online magazines and websites. She strongly believes that storytellers are healers in the present world as they can change the outlook of people through the stories they tell.

My Review:

A book which help you to bask into the ocean of pure love, beautiful friendship and will make you believe that,“ When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

– Paulo Coelho 

The reader’s heart…
Without You by Preethi Venugopala takes you on an exciting venture of Ananya’s love story. During her vacation to Sreepuram on her grandmother, Ammamma’s home she meet Arjun and falls in love with him. She holds a soft corner for Arjun and leave no opportunity to make him feel special. The story takes a sweet turn when Arjun expresses his love for Ananya, unexpectedly. We believe in testing everything- friends, relations and family. Here it is no exception. On an occasion when Arjun instead of shielding Ananya respond unassertive, it break Ananya’s believe apart and every expectation she had from Arjun’s side. She decides to end it then and there. She leaves for Bangalore, back to her paternal home with her broken heart and shattered dreams. The emotional trauma turns her life upside down but her best friends, Khushi and Poornima leave no stone un-turn to bring back the bubbly, perky and happy go Ananya. By the time she overcome the pain of betrayal but her love and memories with Arjun remain fresh as ever. Did Arjun ever loved her sincerely? Why he didn’t stand in protection of Ananya when she needed him the most? Will he ever return in Ananya’s life again or will remain just a sweet-bitter past? Will Ananya be able to forgive him if ever he confronts her?

Without You is a racy promising love tale. The author has brilliantly worked on each character with a well planned plot. Intriguing narration and beautiful description will make you hooked to the story till the end. The cover of the book looks decent with a girl’s back side image, lost in thoughts. I find the book title very apt. Without You, depicts life of Arjun and Ananya without each other.     

What I liked?
Without You assures of an enduring love in its purest form. I especially loved Colonel RS Nair’s character as his revelation brings the wanted crux of the suspense. Ammamma, Ananya’s grandmother is an open minded lady with a loving heart. Her sweetness and simplicity won my heart. The best part is, story-line doesn’t get predictable at all.

Why should one read this book?
Without You runs on a realistic line, a part of which each of us come across at some point of time, those raw emotions. If you believe in true love then this book promise to make your believe stronger.

Stars…
To this romantic reading ride that will compel you to smile, laugh and cry with its characters, I give this book a five- star rating.

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpt: 5/5
Book Cover: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Book Details:
Title: Without You
Author: Preethi Venugopala
Genre: Fiction/ Romance
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Write India
Language: English
Pages: 198
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 150 INR

Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon

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Without You will stand up to your expectations with strong story line and un-put-down-able narration. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will refresh your mood. This light-romantic book is a perfect read during journey. Highly recommended for all romantic hearts, No second thoughts!

I self-bought this book. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a five-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Book Review: 21 Ways of Being Happy by Shama Patel

This book will help you to meet yourself and discover a better self.

The Blurb:

Happiness is a state of mind. Yes, it is. It is not a condition or situation that is presented to some and kept away from others. It is in our own hands to overcome guilt, self-pity, regret and anxiety to lead a fulfilling, happy life.Shama Patel, a professional psychologist, enlists the ways and tricks to stay happy, forever.

21 Ways of Being Happy is written with the aim of bringing you closer to yourself. It is a book that will help you charter the course of your life, your own way.

Excerpt:

Staying connected with your loved ones is a key to living a happy and balanced life. It is OK to run away from everyone- mentally, emotionally or sometimes even physically- to sort things out in your head but once feel you have collected your broken pieces together, get back to your home, get back in the vicinity of your loved ones. If someone continues to hurt you, you are indeed free to take a step back and let them exit from your life, but breaking ties with all others is a clear invitation forloneliness and depression. At any time of crisis, this connect will make feel loved. This connect will make hopeful that you aren’t alone in this world and that there are people who care for you and your survival matters to them. (Page 108 – Stay Connected)

About the Author:

Shama Patel is a Psychologist and an Author of a recently launched book titled ”21 Ways of Being Happy”. She is an empathetic soul with a creative mind and a beautiful heart which has touched the lives of many young adults, couples, senior citizens and several others who she has met in her journey of life. She has also helped various alcoholics, drug addicts and survivors of abuse and human trafficking in their healing process. An ardent believer in the trinity of Body, Mind and Soul, her practice and writing strongly reflects this philosophy. This altruist finds solace in sketching and her yoga practice.

My Review:

A book that must be read by everyone. It’s important to look into yourself and feel contentment in what you are and how you are. When I had it in my hands, I felt this is something I really needed.

The reader’s heart…
21 Ways of Being Happyby Shama Patel is a sensitive approach towards comprehending humanpsychology,better vision to look at life and some effective ways of being happy inwherever you are and whatever you are – you are here with a purpose. So, focus on that. The optimism in the title was enough to hold my attention and the cover page is breathtakingly beautiful. The author has shared her real life experiences and clear examples which makes reading all more interesting. The book deals with various problems that we encounter in our everyday life and some of us for many long years. Such as anger, grudges, shame, self-pity, helplessness, ego, etc. also suggests some valuable tips to sort them out with continuous practice based on inner quest to cope with them. It also shares some beautiful life mantras like,to live in a moment, appreciate little things in life and importance of gratitude.My favorite chapters are:Be a miracle for someone else, Take a stand… And Stick To it! and Power of Mindfulness.I thoroughly enjoyed reading this happy go book. To be honest, while reading I found myself there in the book. In a positive way and negative as well. I got my answers well. A book I would love to gift my friends.

What I liked?
The best thing I liked about the book is that, in the middle and in the end of each chapter some exercises are given which are highly effective if you solve them sincerely. So, while the book discuss about the problems; it offer some good solutions as well. There are some interesting caricatures inside the book that will help you feel connected to it. I especially loved the gratitude message in the book.

”Gratitude is an ”expression” of being content with anything that comes your way, or everything that you have in life. It is a form of expression that makes feel good about what you are blessed with, and gets you closer to your inner self. It helps you keep the ego – I, me, myself- aside.”

What I disliked?
Absolutely there is nothing that I disliked about the book with hope and positivism being its main ingredients.

Why should one read this book?
This book creates positive vibes around you. It will help you to focus your attention towards the brighter side along with some valid reasons. This book will push to solve your inside riddles and perplexity.

Stars…
To this promising reading ride that will make you merrier, I give this book a five-star rating.

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpt: 5/5
Book Cover: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Book Details:
Title: 21 Ways of Beings Happy
Author: Shama Patel
Genre: Non- Fiction
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Grapevine India
Language: English
Pages: 223
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 140 rs.

Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Buy Kindle eBook

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21 Ways of Being Happy is like a guardian. It will guide you in happy as well as in hard times. I had a wonderful time reading it and I will definitely get back to it time to time. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will help you in self-discovery and that happiness is just a thought away. Highly recommended for all, No second thoughts!

I self-bought this book. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a five-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.