CONCEPT: 3/5 RELEVANCE: 3.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 3/5 OVERALL: 3/5
“Just as how flowing water never passes through the same path, life should also be an onward, progressive journey. There is only one take in this game of life. That is the best take.“
– Juju’s Pearls, Momsie Popsie Diary
It might have begun as a coping mechanism or it might have been destined, it might have been a play of fate or it might be because of a subliminal urge. Whatever the reason, the year gone-by did see me reading more than my regular share of nonfiction self-help books.
While many books share similar concepts and talk about similar things, it is important as a reader to appreciate the role of practice and memory in the overall scheme of self-improvement. Retaining concepts is a function of memory and what better way to drive the message home than by meaningful repetition?
To this effect, reading multiple books is as helpful as reading the same book again and again. And I have been quite lucky to have come across gems like PC Balasubramanian’s Jujube, Jay Shetty’s Think Like a Monk, and Shunmyo Masuno’s Zen: The Art of Simple Living.
What to expect?
Expect a book that talks about life lessons and everyday wisdom in easy, relatable, and crisp chapters. Expect a book that is a bit of everything – musings, rants, experiences, and thoughts. Expect a book that brings to you the experiences of a doctor, a mother, a wife, and a daughter. Expect a book that is part fiction, part memories, and part life lessons.
Who can read?
Since the book is written in an easy language, it can be picked up by a beginner level reader.
What is the book all about?
The book is a collection of various musings, rants, opinions, and articles that the author shares on her personal blog. Though, the author writes voraciously, in Momsie Popsie diary we see a collection of the author’s most popular blog posts.
These writings range from everyday tips to timeless wisdom, from witty humor to daily experiences as a doctor and as a mother. Most of all, these carry a sense of familiarity that immediately puts the reader at ease and strikes a relatable chord with her.
Something about the author
Author Reemanshu Goel Bansal writes by the pen name Juju’s Pearl. Passionate about yoga and meditation, she is a trained Kathak dancer and a radiologist by profession. Born and schooled in Delhi, she later joined the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai for her residency and this became the watershed moment of her life.
When she is not spending time treating patients in her care, she takes to writing as an outlet for her expressive and creative self. You can read her articles and musings at reemanshu.blogspot.com
What did I not like?
Some parts of the book seem repetitive where the same or similar things have been explored but in different words.
What did I like?
I love how the author writes about a wide variety of subjects. And how she makes this book not just relatable but also comfortable. This ‘non-fiction with a twist’ is something that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Donning many hats
The author talks about many incidents from her personal life that resonate with our daily lives. Her humble nature can be gauged from the fact that she tries to learn as much from her children, as she does from her parents and other elders. While narrating interesting incidents from her life as a mother, she shares how her children make her learn, unlearn, and relearn many things. These sections, she cleverly categorizes as KYC (Know Your Child).
The humorous and reflective doctor
In another section, she shows us a sneak peek of her life as a doctor, where she tries to find humor in her professional life, while also managing to learn valuable lessons from her patients whom she describes as colorful and amusing.
In a serious and reflective section towards the latter half of the book, she talks to us about Covid-19 and life during and post-pandemic, while recounting her experiences from a professional point of view.
The touch of personality and love
Another thing that sets this book apart is the beautiful addition of handwritten notes taken from the diary of the author’s mother. Written in a now vanishing ‘shudhh Hindi’, the wisdom and love reflected in these few notes render a magical touch to the book. While the choice of words in these notes is rich and melodious, the messages themselves are sagacious and profound.
Easy to understand and easy to remember
While Momsie Popsie Diary is written in a light manner, in no way it is reflective of its core essence. The breezy writing and simple language infused with flavorful humor make it a comfortable read. But at the same time, it also enables the reader to effortlessly remember the lessons learned.
Thoughts on marriages
In some of the chapters, the author talks about the concept of marriage and why communication and balance are the most essential things for a good marriage. She also goes a step further and addresses some typical Indian things like insecurity amongst Indian parents after their son’s marriage.
The section on ‘10 Commandments of Marriage’ makes for an interesting read, and so does a sassy little chapter cleverly titled ‘Marital Curry’, where she talks about how marriage is a curry that basically serves two, but whose aroma affects all the people in its inner and outer circle.
Some key takeaways
Some of my major takeaways and reminder points from this book are the positive values of forgiveness, awareness, living life in every moment, courtesy, appreciation, avoiding overthinking, avoiding the blame game, flushing out negative and unwanted thoughts, the importance of maintaining harmony, etc.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is – “life is simple for those who enjoy and difficult for those who analyze”.
The best book out there?
Momsie Popsie Diary is certainly not the best book out there to learn happiness from, but is it really important to be a snob and discard incremental positive learnings and affirmations that come our way?
Sometimes it is our ego that makes us perceive if a book is worth it or not? If it’s from a ‘good’ author or not? I, for one, believe in the power of the smallest of things in making us better individuals. And in that spirit alone, I have personally gained many incremental benefits from the book.
In the end
In the end, Momsie Popsie Dairy is a lot of things packed into one – a doctor’s experiences, a mother’s lessons, a child’s learnings, a woman’s musings, and a lot more. These musings are both reflective and relatable, making the book a cozy read.
The final verdict
Can be read.
Pick the book if
- You enjoy non-fiction writing.
- You like reading about everyday life and everyday things.
- You love reading books that reflect on life and its many shades.
Skip the book if
- You don’t enjoy reading non-fiction writing.
- You read works by only famous writers.
- The idea of a collection of semi-anecdotal musings, rants, and pearls of wisdom of an ordinary Indian doesn’t appeal to you.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Momsie Popsie Diary using the link below.