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August 17, 2014 / subramanyam

Gulabi by Pankaj Suneja

          My endeavor to read books from new and different genre’s is coming true. Recently I got a chance to read a book that deals with people suffering with schizophrenia. Here is the blurb of the book “Gulabi”

          The book is about experience of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is challenging disorder often characterized by abnormal social behaviour and a significantly altered perception of reality. Its treatment largely depends on medications ad psychosocial interventions but no single approach is widely considered effective for all patients. Through this book I offer my readers a glimpse into the multifaceted world of gulabischizophrenia in the form of fictitious storyline revolving around two characters Monty (the psychotic part)  and Virginia (the non psychotic part). The boundary between the two is permeable. Monty conjures up ‘Gulabi’, following his abrupt separation from his long time partner, while Virginia, having suffered from a personal loss sets out to follow her lifelong aspiration to travel the world.

          The books starts on sad note, “Monty” is a university student, he was in a long distance relationship with a girl and unfortunately parts ways with her. Now how does he cope up with the break-up? What happens to him? how does he come in contact with Gulabi and how his life changes? Many questions indeed… aren’t they ? While Monty has his set of worries ,  Somewhere, in a different place a beautiful young girl Virginia is feeling sad and is looking for a person to speak, the reason, her boyfriend left her. His marriage and his family were standing between her and him. Virginia loved his first wife and his family but then things did not proceed the way she wanted them to proceed. How do the lives of Monty and Virginia shape up? What does the future hold for them is something you ought to read from the book.

          The 76 page can be completed in a single read, the pace of the book is fairly good. The language is good and helps the reader read the book quickly. A person who knows more about mental illnesses can speak more about the book and can make more sense, however, even for a layman this book is definitely a good read.

          The USP of the book is the author, read about the author Pankaj Suneja in his own words here.

          I have recently completed my Master of Arts in Psychology (Psychosocial Clinical Studies) from Ambedkar University, Delhi. In 2011- 12, I suffered from a psychotic episode and had to leave my studies. With the help of medication and the support of my family and teachers, I regained the health and resumed studies. In October 2013, during one of the experiments for my thesis work I attempted to survive without medications. The idea was to understand the occurrence of a psychotic episode in as authentic a manner as possible. Medication would have interfered with this process. In the winter break of the same year I experienced a painful breakdown of my long-term relationship. At the same time, my family also moved away after having spent some time with me. In December 2013, at the height of loneliness, I began hallucinating about ‘Gulabi’. She disappeared a month later. Soon after, I suffered from a psychotic relapse.  My thesis work has been about understanding the experience of psychosis or schizophrenia.

          A person suffers a psychotic collapse, fights it, comes out of it and writes a book about schizophrenia. Isn’t this great? The mere spirit of the author makes me bow to him in admiration. We see people who lose their confidence and life due to the mental illnesses, Pankaj Suneja stands out of the crowd and stands as an inspiration to all of us.

          Do read the book it’s a good one, we get to read a story that depicts one of the toughest diseases of the world very very closely. It is a real good work by the author.



Leave a Comment
  1. Alysha Kaye / Aug 17 2014 9:31 pm

    Great review, sounds really fascinating.

    I’d love for you to check out my new novel, THE WAITING ROOM- it’d be amazing to read your thoughts on it:)


    • subramanyam / Aug 17 2014 11:23 pm

      Hi Alysha, Welcome to my blog. Thank you for the comment. Great that you liked the review. I will definitely read your book “The Waiting Room”. Keep visiting my blog and keep posting your thoughts.


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