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DON'T PANIC by Jayesh  Mody


by Jayesh Mody

Pub Date: Dec. 14th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4917-6360-5
Publisher: iUniverse

This confusing debut collection of homilies, personal reminiscences, and treatises by Mody raises the possibility of a blissful existence but struggles to convey how.

“Just step out of the lingering painful memories and get rid of stress, tension and anxiety from life as we all are BORN TO LIVE A BLISSFUL LIFE,” proclaims the frontispiece of this self-help guide. The 532 pages that follow are a mishmash of fictional stories intended to bring enlightenment, anecdotal life lessons learned by Mody, and essays on life’s evils and how to avoid them. The book opens with a story about a “saint” who meets a robber. The saint asks the robber to ask his family members if they approve of his villainous activities. The outcome of the story is that the saint pricks the robber’s conscience, resulting in him changing his ways. This is followed by an essay on how mothers are pivotal in deterring their children from becoming terrorists, rapists, and mass murderers. There is also a peculiar tale about a priest who is reserving tickets to see a Shakespeare play and, in a conversation with the theater manager, learns that “one cannot escape from one’s own conscience.” The collection includes details of the author’s medical history and dogs. This highly digressive book would benefit from being thoroughly edited for clarity: “The overall surroundings are such that it becomes difficult to restrict youngsters trapped in to certain pockets where they lured to become offenders, criminals or terrorists. We all know that the modern technological gadgets make the process much easier for those who want to misuse.” This writing style makes an already amorphous subject all the more difficult to grasp. Mody’s opinion on children with disabilities, whom he refers to as “special children,” may prove uncomfortable for some readers: “A special child is born so as ultimately to qualify parents and all concerned for elevation during this life or afterlife.” This book is difficult to read and rarely clearly conveys, explains, or supports any of its complex ideas. Despite its sometimes contentious viewpoint, there is a sense that it was written with the benevolent hope of improving society, even if it falls significantly short of the mark in its execution.

Digressive, impenetrable writing leads disappointingly to bewilderment.