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Posted at: Jan 14, 2018, 1:43 AM; last updated: Jan 14, 2018, 1:43 AM (IST)BOOK REVIEW: 10 ESSENTIALS TO THE BLUEPRINT OF HAPPINESS BY BHANU ARORA.

On track of an elusive notion

Chanakya Grover

Each one of us, at some point in our life, has wondered what happiness really means. And as much as we want to experience it, understand it and make it a permanent feature of our lives, it never fails to evade most of us at most times. 

Bhanu Arora, however, feels that it doesn’t have to be that way at all; because happiness is achievable, as long as we know what we’re looking for. Therefore, in his debut book, he has attempted the Herculean task of defining happiness and laying down a blueprint for achieving it.

In order to do so, he has taken the help of short stories which act as precursors to the main points listed in nine out of 10 chapters of the book, thereby, adding both fiction and non-fiction flavours to the mix.

Starting with the basic question, “Are you happy?” the book explores the ideas of knowing thyself, communication, marriage, sex, money, travel and god with an honest and unapologetic approach. So, you’ll find yourself reading that gossip is good and how it can benefit you; or how marriage is not the only way to live with your partner; that it can get exhausting; that a live-in relationship can be a healthy alternative. Or how sex is a great stress-buster and how it can be one of the strongest allies on your road to happiness.

Arora adds a touch of philosophy to the concept of money as he writes, “We created money so that the natural wealth of the world can be fairly distributed amongst all of us! It was born out of the sheer universal love that we felt for each other, so that no one gets deprived! And then we were enslaved by money because we forgot ourselves and the source and purpose of its origin—LOVE; and that nothing can ever exist in this world without love.” He doesn’t shy away from writing that he loves money and that everyone should too; that money likes to circulate and be respected.

The book, despite the confusing sentence structure of the short stories, manages to give a fairly practical point of view on dealing with issues that Arora believes stand in the way of our happiness. However, the chapters on living an original life and sharing and caring dilute that effect by venturing into too much of philosophy and idealism.

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