Sunday, December 29, 2013

Naked Determination by Gisela Hausman: A review

I have to confess i am not a great fan of non fiction. I am a story guy. I like good stories. All those self help or self improvement literature brings out the lethargic guy inside me. As if my mind builds up a security parameter in which none of the words or sentences of such a book would ever be able to jump and come in while i go to a deep slumber. When i came across Gisela's book Naked Determination, the same inertia had gripped me initially. But as i went page after page, it felt like an incredible story. It contained life and times of Gisela Hausman as told by Gisela herself. Each of the chapters are like a leaf from her life tree. She isn't preaching or lecturing. She leaves it to your prerogative to draw out any lesson from each of those leaves. She could have written about great people and all the analysis of what made them great. But she deliberately avoids those cliches. Her life is rich and varied and it is from her life and rich experiences we can choose to learn life lessons if we wish to. It takes immense courage to put out one's own life for scrutiny by others. But she is honest with that and shares both her successes and failures. It's not only about her strengths but like all of us we can see her vulnerable side too through the depiction of loss of the loved ones-whether its death of her husband or ending of a relationship. This definitely connects her to the readers. From the book it is also clear that she is well traveled. She traveled to Russia, Mongolia and China during the iron curtain days and the chapters about those are good to read. The reason being these days we have the TLC, Natgeo and online travel guides which help us to plan for a foreign locale. However during the cold war era flow of information was restricted and it must have taken enormous amount of courage and a bit of craziness to visit those countries.The lessons she learnt on those trips are invaluable and i think that made the person she is today. Her insight on email writing is also very helpful in our daily lives. The language of the book is simple and style of writing is fluid which makes it a very good read. But above all this book reveals what an incredibly beautiful human being the author is.