Review of 'For God Loves Foolish People' penned by Satbir Chadha
“The most lucid narration and candid autobiography I have read in a very long time.”
The story begins on a very sweet note by a little girl’s confession about her school days that how she wanted to go to her school on a horse back and her grandfather couldn’t deny her innocent wish, for she found walking a bit tiring. The story further depicts many shades of her upbringing in the heart of the mountains in Nainital, Haldwani. As much is the place beautiful the story of that little girl slowly stepping into her adolescence then a young vibrant teenaged college going girl who had many dreams of pursuing a career in medicine, is attention grabbing with lucid and candid narration. The era is in early fifties and we get to see the most affluent side of a pious Sikh household with grandeur that observes an English culture as well as their native one with a great touch of modernism that must have been truly a rare combination during those times when mostly people’s lives were simple. Our writer however lives a grand and a very imperial lifestyle with a freedom to enjoy her life at the fullest, however there is a huge sacrifice that she makes from her side and this completely changes her life afterwards.
Yet her acceptance of it and living her new life without any complain and giving her heart and soul to everything she does brings out that she is not only a great human being, but the most amazing wife and a mother to her family, as she being so learned and educated could easily give up on her dreams just to raise her boys well. She is a successful mother I can say in infusing the great values and teachings into her sons and how much adorable is the fact that its only her son who recognises her writing prowess and forges her to go ahead and take one step further into the literary world.
The best part that I enjoyed reading was the detailed description of many historical facts about Haldwani, its people and places and how her grandfather remains a harbinger of his time in developing the place. As I have a huge connection with the place yet I wasn’t much aware about its detailed historical facts. Secondly the era is completely bygone but the way the writer has unfolded the time, it’s realistic episodes and has shown how much people were not only modern in their ways of living but also in their way of enjoying, talking and thinking took me by surprise revealing the fact that every time period has its charm. When there was no cell phones, internet then also people have enjoyed a life full of vigour and charm and Satbir Chadha have portrayed that with unmatched excellence. The one particular place that really amazed me was her whole life experience and schooling in Bombay. This has many such episodes that will take you by surprise that how much children particularly girls were free to move about and enjoyed each other; again that modernistic approach of theirs in every simple thing can be seen.
Another thing that I thoroughly found riveting was that how beautifully the writer has accounted every episode of her life from childhood, to teenage then her youthful days to getting married in a household that is completely different from how she had been brought up, yet her acceptance of everything with a firm belief in God and then in the end her being still satisfied with the kind of life she has led with her husband, his family and having no qualms at all that perhaps it could have been a different life for her altogether if she had been able to pursue her studies in medicine. And I really wish to salute her memory and way of describing her life story, the varied real characters in the book that have all a beautiful role to play in making her grow in a world full of respect, truths some bitter ones too and most of all with values and teachings she remains thankful for.
Plethora’s Verdict: My take on this book is that it’s the most lucid and candid autobiographical book that I got to read in a long time. I enjoyed the flow of the language, the varied truthful events accounted most vividly and sharing her joys, her worries, her doubts, her belief in god and most of all her principles that she stayed truthful even though life brought her sometimes salt sometimes sugar. Thus I would recommend it to all the readers and writers as it’s a book that will make you smile most of the time while reading it. The childhood memoirs, the teenage fun and few of her romantic moments shared are the most alluring part of this book. And of course you will have to read it to know that why “God Loves Foolish People”. Overall, I would like to give this book a 4.5 star rating on the scale of 5 in terms of narration, language and plotting of the real incidents. A huge thumbs up to writer Satbir Chadha for her commendable work and ‘never say never’ attitude towards life.
Satbir Chadha the Author of “For God Loves Foolish People” was born in Nainital in 1950s to an affluent and influential business family of devout Sikhs. She has studied in a school built by her grandfather in Haldwani and then afterwards in St. Teresa’s Convent and Sophia College in Bombay. She got married in 1968 and moved to Delhi, where besides being a homemaker she shared business responsibilities, first with her father-in-law and later with her husband. During a short stint of doing business independently, her firm did designing for advertising agencies like HTA, O&M, Surya and Rashtriya. ‘For God Loves Foolish People” is her debut book.