Let go of Me by Ekta Saigal Pandit

Today, I’m talking about a book, Let go of Me, written by Ekta Saigal Pandit. It’s fusion of fiction and non-fiction.

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Cover of the Book

As per my view, the cover of the book is somewhat confusing. The barefoot girl, in the cover, wearing colourful skirt indicates that the book is a chic lit, but the background of cover picture indicates that the book is philosophical.

The book is highly philosophical. Let go of Me isn’t about an escape from some relationship but it’s about an escape from ‘Me’ – ‘I’ – ‘the ego.’ The cover of the book tells that the cover girl is joyous after travelling a long journey because she let go her ‘Me.’ She could now dance on streets like Meera Bai.

Plot of the Novel

As the cover may indicate that it’s a story of a girl in her teenage or 20s, but it isn’t. In fact, the lead protagonist, the heroine of the novel, is a 38 years old woman, who has been married for 14 years and mother of two children. On the other hand, the hero is also a married man of 32 and father of one child.

The book is about the factors that lead these two protagonists to come together and share their deepest feelings. It isn’t the physical or sexual urge but a sense of true love. There’s nothing much on physical level of plot, i.e., the storyline. The only twist is that the hero is a male prostitute apart from working as a receptionist at hotel. The heroine is HR head of the same hotel.

Most of the story goes inside the mind of the protagonists – how they think – why they think what they think. The plot mainly runs on psychological as well as spiritual level. The book is about reaching the supreme state of awareness through love. The book tells how to let your love expand and not let it become transactional.

Characters of the Novel

Asmi –> Asmi is a typical wife of modern society. She has to take care of her office as well as her household activities together. Also, she has to give explanation to everyone, especially at home front, for her actions or lack of them. She’s answerable to everyone at home, her husband, children & in-laws. Pleasing everyone at home, at work and all around her, she’s left with no equipment or energy to please her own self or to live a life which would add some life to her life. It gnaws on her that her closed environment doesn’t allow her freedom of life and expression that her persona demands. She wants to experience a life without restriction but couldn’t really share her feelings with anyone because no one is interested in listening her. She isn’t looking for judgement or analysis but for being understood without words, for someone who could pull her out of herself.    

Sagar –> Sagar is a man who sacrifices his entire life for the welfare of his family. For him, the happiness of the family comes before his personal happiness. He’s conditioned to meet the end result irrespective of the means. He’s a man who appears powerful on outside but could be moulded to any extent to suit the requirements of his family. Though he’s married and has a child, he doesn’t have any idea what falling in love means or what being loved by someone feels like unless he meets Asmi.  

Anita Fernandes –> Anita Fernandes is a 42 years old widow and sole owner of multi-million dollar business empire. She believes that money can buy everything and has the power to justify anything, any action or emotion. She has a sharp acumen, both of business and people. Besides being politically connected, shrewd and cunning, she keeps a vulture like gaze on all her possessions, which include the people she has dug her sight into. She becomes jealous and annoyed by the idea that her precious possessions are being shared. For her, it’s unjustified that someone else is getting for free what she has bought by spending lots of money. She takes every possible step to make the person pay for it.  

Style of Narration

The book isn’t a commercial movie but an art film. It deals a serious subject in a serious manner. Obviously, it’s a slow read because it has many things that’ll compel you to ponder. It isn’t tequila shot but an old wine which needs to be sipped & savoured, and not to be finished in one gulp.

For me, the writing style is a fusion of fiction & non-fiction. The book isn’t about the story but the message. Each chapter starts with a haiku, which sets the mood of the chapter. The haiku give the hint of the emotions which are going to be dealt in the chapters. Each chapter deals a particular state of mind.    

Let go of Me and Haiku

The author didn’t try to decorate it with her literary skills but retained the essence of haiku. Haiku isn’t about artistry but simplicity and fluidity. You’ll get the idea of ‘what I’m talking about’ by the following haiku from the book:

When you leave me here
And take a part of me there
Am I here or there?

Philosophies Dealt in the Book

At every crucial stage of life, there are two paths and one of them leads you to higher planes of awareness. The question is: How you gonna know, which path will lead you to higher planes?

Here comes the utility of this book. This book could help you in knowing the correct path. The author successfully managed to create such crucial stages in the lives of the protagonists of the book. The two protagonists choose different paths. From the logic behind their decisions and their consequences after choosing the specific path will help you in deciding your correct path in such situations. 

Normally, what I do in my annotations is, I talk about the theme of the book in spiritual context by citing some quotes from the book and explain them spiritually. But the author didn’t give me this opportunity in Let go of Me, she herself explained it in the book in great detail. So, I’m just giving a brief outline of philosophies dealt in the book.

The core concepts of the book are:

  • There are no such things as right & wrong, ideal or absolute. Everything is relative. Truth is subjective not objective.
  • Everyone is given equal opportunities to make choices. Whatever we face in our lives is the consequences of the choices made by us. Each day is a fresh beginning to make a choice as to how we want to live it.
  • The purpose of twin-lames or soul-mates is to reduce the karmic load that they are carrying, by sharing the lessons learnt by them individually while they are away from each other, and move forward to the source. 

In fact, the author propounded a theory in this regard by assimilating the Hindu concepts of Karma, Kundalini, Maya, Kosha, Aura and Layers of body along with Abrahimic concept of Satan, Freud’s views on Repression and the concept of Twin-flames in the context of love.

Author’s Grip on Spirituality

I’d like to talk about three instances from the book that will reveal you author’s grip on the subject of spirituality.

In an address to readers, the author said that even when each of our desire becomes reality, we are still dissatisfied. This realization is the beginning of spiritual quest.

In the acknowledgement section, she said that thoughts are universally rooted. They are not created but perceived by us. What we think and the subject we think depends upon our plane of existence in the cosmos. When we are at a level in the cosmos, we simply attune ourselves to the threads of thoughts that float therein and become channels to bring them into physical manifestation. This revelation is the first step towards the journey of egolessness.

The word ‘Karma’ has become cliché, but unfortunately, there are lots of misunderstandings regarding the concept of Karma. Most of the people believe that doing good deeds will free them from the cycle of karma; that good actions will cancel out the bad actions, but this isn’t the case. When I encounter this line in the context of karma, “It is your debt that you need to pay off before you go to the next level of evolution,” I thought that the author is on wrong track, but further lines changed my opinion regarding the author, especially this one, “When you are sent here, to earth, as human, you collect karmas for your actions. It is inevitable. You collect them over several lifetimes through actions soaked in intention.”

The phrase ‘actions soaked in intention’ confirms the deep understanding of author on the subject of Karma. Actions are neutral; it’s the intent behind the actions that make them good or bad. She further reveals that one can escape from the cycle of karma by being an observer or through actions free of intent. This is indeed the essence of Karma Yoga.   

Let go of Me and Relationship

In relationship, the irony is everyone wants to be understood but no one wants to understand others. The ironies in life and relationship are wonderfully illustrated by the author in the book.

Also, sometimes it happens in relationship that the thing you think will save other from pain, becomes the cause of pain for other. This is beautifully depicted in these lines, “They were in pain. He was pained by the thought of sharing his dark side and she was pained by his not sharing the same.”

There’s a difference between lying and cheating in a relationship. You could get a glimpse of the concept by these lines of the author, “Everyone around her was lying. Someone was lying because he had taken over too many responsibilities on his shoulders and someone because he did not want any on his.”

It often happens in relationship that after sometime you ask this question with yourself whether you’re blind or the person has changed. Mostly this happens when you enter into relationship after courtship. There’s a line in the book which gives the answer to this question, “Well, if you ask me, neither were you blind and nor has he changed. The place from where you are viewing him has changed and possibly just that has changed.”

Some Quotes from the Book

The book is full of words of wisdom, especially in the context of spirituality and paradox of life. I felt it’d be unfair to quote some and leave the others, so I decided not to select any from these sections but to focus on other areas of the book.

  • A book doesn’t happen in a day or a year. It builds within oneself over the years and takes a concrete shape when it must.
  • There is something, not in the way these people look but the way they look at you, that catches your attention. They have something extra in their eyes, eyes that connect directly to the soul.
  • One needs to have either grown up to survive in the uncertain, formidable wilderness and inculcated these traits instinctively or needs to unlearn the so-called virtues of societal existence and adapt.
  • If you cannot speak the truth to the person who you claim to love more than you love yourself, you cannot even speak the truth to yourself.
  • We value people not for who they are but for what they mean to us and the reverence we feel on seeing them.
  • A journey that is undertaken alone sometimes becomes more beautiful and invigorating because of a set of footsteps next to ours.

Excerpt to Exhibit Author’s Writing Skill

Brushing off the dust and cobwebs from over the lock, she pushed open the heavy teak door. It creaked as if to reveal its annoyance in being forgotten for so long. Treading into the desolate and dusty vestibule leading into the atrium brought about a surge of memories. The silence was intimidating and the smell of the space being unaired for eons entered her nostrils, making her feel guilty and slightly nauseous at the same time.

27 Comments

  1. Shrinidhi Hande
    April 27, 2016

    Will try to read this. Thanks for the review

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      April 28, 2016

      Hope you’ll like it. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      Reply
  2. Archana Kapoor
    April 27, 2016

    I would have had a similar take on the cover 🙂 as they say first impressions are so crucial… seems like a good book and you really review so well Ravish…

    btw – will you review my book also, when I publish it? 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      April 28, 2016

      Thanks for the appreciation, Archie. The book is indeed words of wisdom. 🙂

      Btw, what led you to think that I won’t review your book? 😛

      Reply
  3. Kalpanaa
    April 27, 2016

    Looks like an interesting book. Good review Ravish. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      April 28, 2016

      It’s interesting if you’re fond of philosophy. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Reply
  4. Maitreni Mishra
    April 27, 2016

    A much exhaustive review like always Ravish! This would definitely be an interesting read. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      April 28, 2016

      The book indeed has a lot to take away. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Indrani
    April 27, 2016

    Excellent review done. Very elaborate.

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      April 28, 2016

      Thanks 🙂

      Reply
  6. Rajesh
    April 28, 2016

    intersting review of the book.

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      April 28, 2016

      Thank you. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Jyoti
    April 28, 2016

    बहुत बढिया, रविश

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      April 28, 2016

      Dhanyawad, Jyoti 🙂

      Reply
  8. Ekta Saigal Pandit
    April 28, 2016

    Ravish…my sincere gratitude for reading “Let Go of me” so thoroughly. Your review is indeed exhaustive and it is evident that you have been able to delve deep into the layers of my mind. It’s an honour to have someone review your work so thoroughly. Thank you for your patience and time.

    Reply
  9. Dr Sweety Shinde
    April 29, 2016

    Ur right, the chic lit aura would have alienated me forever. However , as always, ur review makes a mini book in itself.Looking forward to your very own.
    Sita’s curse had a similar premise of a woman finding love in a male prostitute. Have you reviewed it?

    Reply
  10. Mridula Dwivedi
    April 29, 2016

    This one sounds quite intriguing! As usual a wonderful and in depth review Ravish.

    Reply
  11. Bushra Muzaffar
    April 30, 2016

    I always love to read your ‘annotations’, Ravish. More than the book the review or the annotation gets interesting with your inputs on philosophy and spirituality…and in turn evokes interest in the work of the author. Thanks for another great annotation 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      June 21, 2016

      Thanks, Bushra, for your kindness & generosity. May the pious month bring peace & prosperity in your life!

      Ramadan Mubarak 🙂

      Reply
      1. Bushra Muzaffar
        June 21, 2016

        Thanks for your wishes, Ravish! 🙂

        Reply
  12. Life360 Degrees
    May 12, 2016

    Very well captured Ravish. Interesting take.

    Reply
  13. Saru
    May 18, 2016

    A break from regular commercial love stories. With your review, you sold the book to me.

    Reply
  14. rachnap
    May 19, 2016

    Exhaustive review as always. The book definitely seems like something I could pick up.

    Reply
  15. Amit Agarwal
    May 20, 2016

    Great! Very systematically reviewed:)

    Reply
  16. A very exhaustive review and your views on relationship and cheating are worth pondering here. I find the cover a bit serene, a girl is there to make a journey, on her own… that’s what I thought at the first glance.

    Sorry for such a late response on this post. These days I’ve become a bit irregular with blogging… 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      June 21, 2016

      No need for sorry, Maniparna. I’m myself an irregular blogger. I can understand. And thanks for sharing your perspective on the cover and other aspects of the book. Stay blessed! 🙂

      Reply
  17. Dipanwita
    June 22, 2016

    This is certainly the book I should read. Thank you for putting up such an exhaustive review Ravish.

    Reply

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