A parcel of tenderness
The Magic of Love
Author: Ayesha Chopra
Publisher: Turtle Books
– Rashmi Rawat
Our values are the ideas we hold about right and wrong, good and bad, significant and insignificant. These values, unseen to us, drive our beliefs, interests, and goals. They affect what friends we choose, what we do with our free time, how we spend our money; in short, values are the bedrock upon which the society thrives, progresses, and grows.
Ayesha Chopra, a keen observer of human behaviour and the natural and spiritual laws that govern human existence, lovingly created The magic of love, a book that contains heartwarming stories for tweens and teens. This book is a boatload of old-school virtues like generosity, honesty, integrity, gratitude, respect, tolerance, faith, service, and hard work. It revolves around the day-to-day experiences of Ruhi (12), Ashna (13), Veer (14), and Taarini (15). The book opens with the story of Ruhi and her all-time guide—the wise owl—to whom she pours out her heart in every situation. The wise owl guides her through her problems by teaching her the basic core values. The chapters then go on to relate the experiences of Ashna, her interactions with Veer and Taarini, and how they overcome obstacles in their life and learn some moral lessons to follow in life.
From the complications of risking broken friendships to the dilemma of saying ‘no’ in certain situations during teenage years, the author has etched out the characters quite remarkably. The adolescent reader may well see a bit of themself in the struggles and conflicts of the four youngsters, as the book outlines the fairly common experiences that most children in their growing years go through.
I am sure that kids, after reading this book, will learn how those who espouse a strong value system have better self-worth, a clearer vision of what they need to do, and develop healthier relationships. It may also be a good read for the parents, helping them understand the gentle ways of nurturing these moral values in their offspring and making them realise their own inner strength to face emotional, personal, and social conflicts mindfully. Ayesha’s book is truly a ‘gift of love’ from the bottom of her heart to every child in this world.
Love… and the many tales
I love you… and so!
Author: Patriccia Balan
Publisher: Turtle Books
– Punya Srivastava
I simply loved Patriccia Balan’s I love you… and so! Why? Because with each page that I turned, I could see a mirror being brought close to my face; not too close to blur my vision but close enough to actually see my definition of ‘love’, warts and all, getting dented a bit here and there.Love ain’t something definable. And thank God, Balan does not even attempt to do that here. Because love means different things to different people. And this is what sets the tone of this book from the word go—to ‘not’ box, to ‘not’ judge how different people interpret love differently. How wonderful it would be if one could be grateful in love. With gratitude in place, love is unconditional; absence of gratitude renders it a commodity subjected to terms and conditions. Our projection of what ‘should’ be love creates unnecessary drama and trauma in our lives. “What blinders have I put on in the name of love?” she asks simply.
Balan succinctly points out how we manipulate ourselves and others in our lives in the name of love. For so many of us, the feeling of being in love or being loved holds greater significance than simply ‘being’ love. ‘Being’ love is accepting all that ‘is’ as it ‘is’, without judging our choices as good or bad.
Through 17 chapters, the author talks about various relationships and the expectations associated with them. She shares experiences from her own life as well as anecdotes related to people around her. Talking about romantic relationships, she points out how we put our partner on a pedestal, making ourselves small in turn and diminishing our self-worth in a bid to make them stay in the relationship forever. And when the relationship goes downhill, we allow ourselves to be held captive by the choice of ‘maintaining the relationship forever’ that we made all those years ago.
I would highly recommend a thorough reading of this book to one and all. For it is this book that tells you that instead of going the cliched way of “I love you, so I trust you wholeheartedly,” it is much better to operate from the space of “I love you and I am willing to be aware of everything I am with you and you are with me and we are with each other.”
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