'Keys' by Santhosh Joshi

Title- Keys
Author-Santhosh Joshi
Publisher-SJ Foundation
Source-Review copy (via Think Why Not)
Price- INR 280/-    
(Book cover and author's pic)

                Self-help is one of the money minting genres as far as ‘Indian writing in English’ is concerned.’Keys’,the debut work of  Santhosh Joshi,a life coach and past life regression therapist based in Mumbai(India) belongs to the same.Though this book exhibits many of it’s generic traits what makes it different from the rest,is the inherent honesty and sincerity put in by the author to break free from the genre stereotypes(in which he has been successful to an extent).
             Through this book,the author gives us tips to live a happy and fruitful life.He tells why it is important to ‘Heal your past’,’Live your present’,and ‘Plan your future’(which he thinks are the ‘keys’ or the HLP way to a regret-free life).In keys,Joshi hasn’t attempted anything new,it follows the same set patterns of any other successful self-help book,(so,we get to read so many real life examples and notes on measurable steps to be taken during ‘stressful situations’ .There are even beautifully drawn and intelligently worded cartoons before the beginning  and a quick recap box at the end of each chapter!)but still ‘Keys’ stands out from the rest as the author is confident about what he wants to convey and at the same time is bold enough not to dress up his thoughts in a quasi-spiritual language

About the book- As I mentioned before,’Keys’ belong to the self-help genre.If you are not a great fan of inspirational/motivational stuff,you can safely keep yourselves away from this book but if you are,then I am glad to say this one is not only worth trying but also one of the decent works belonging to the genre to have hit the Indian book stores in the recent past.The book has three ‘keys’ and each one is again divided into eight to ten chapters.So the first ‘key’ has eight chapters which will enable ourselves to a)heal our past by making ourselves realise the importance of learning from our past,b) utilise our true potential c) get rid of our residual emotions from the past d)release attached emotions e)reconnect to the inner child in ourselves f)forgive and forget ;to name a few.   Likewise the second section deals with living our present life to the fullest wheras the third one discusses the importance of planning the future .

The Writing- The language used by the author is simple,conversational English(obviously, in a ‘self-help’ book,what else do you expect?).Thankfully,there aren’t many hindi words (unlike the recent desi ‘inspirational books’)appearing every now and then.Typos and grammatical errors are also very few which was also a pleasant surprise(honestly,I was anticipating more of them as the book is from a relatively new publisher!)

What I liked the most about the book-
1.The book is written in a simple,conversational manner so that the reader can easily relate to most of the things which the author is talking about.
2.The real life examples which the Joshi has described are also believable and relatable.Be,it the story of Kavitha,who is anxious about her future or Kavya,who can no longer be a ‘kid’ as she is a “mother now!”The author has intelligently linked each and every message he wants to tell to one of his personal experiences.
3.The cartoons which are there before the beginning of each chapter made a lot of sense to me.The author has drawn his pictures himself and deserves a pat on his back for not copying pictures from anywhere else for his book.
4.The cover design of the book was also really good.
What I didn’t like-
1.The length of the book-At 270 pages,the book is too long.
2.Repetition of thoughts-Some thoughts and messages are repeated which easily bores the reader.

Verdict- A decent self-help manual.Rating-3/5

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