Title: UBUNTU – I AM BECAUSE WE ARE: Parables of the United Human Spirit
Author: Shilpa Aroskar
Publisher: Leadstart publishing
Genre: Personal Transformation, True Account
First Publication: 2021
Book Summary: UBUNTU by Shilpa Aroskar
Dr Shilpa Aroskar, bestselling author of YOLO, returns with a nuanced, bitter-sweet take on daily life in the pandemic. A frontline warrior herself, she shares the experiences of its perils, as well as the myriad shades of human emotion and behaviour hidden behind the masks.
With her trademark wit she weaves untold stories of people from all spheres of life, in pandemic times. Be it finding love in times of quarantine, virtual weddings, E-School, or mastering the art of boredom in lockdown, every chapter offers a prismatic view of life with a message to ponder.
These pages are about being vulnerable yet strong, being fearful but facing it, of counting one’s blessings in an upside down world, and living with an attitude of gratitude.
Book Review: UBUNTU by Shilpa Aroskar
It is inevitable that there will be a slew of books, memoirs, stories and reflections about lockdown and its effects and Dr. Shilpa Aroskar seems to have got her contribution to the list. Ubuntu by Shilpa Aroskar is one that tells a story that was not exactly mainstream in 2020. It is a collection of well-written, thoughtful and thought-provoking personal stories by Shilpa Aroskar – reflecting on life and living during the time of Covid-19 pandemic.
We are experiencing an unprecedented time. A time, a trial of so many things out of our control. Yet, as this book makes very clear, we are not experiencing it alone. By revealing to us the stories behind the thoughts and actions of people in her life and of herself, Dr Shilpa Aroskar conveys to us that truth: We’re not alone. That people live at a deeper level than we assume them to be. The only differing circumstances between us and the author is that introspection is part of her job.
Ubuntu is a quick easy read, some reflection, some polemic, very personal and thoughtful stories by Shilpa Aroskar. Her stories fascinated me, serving as a source of amusement and inspiration as much as they made me think. She talks about the compelling need to always be doing something that has been exacerbated even more since the pandemic. She talks about many things including finding love in times of quarantine, virtual weddings, E-School, or mastering the art of boredom in lockdown, relationships, economics, and psychology. Throughout the pandemic, my perspective was oblique and often harrowing. Yes, I was working but my trips to the supermarket or anywhere out side home involved me avoiding people. It was just work and apprehension. My focus had shifted from my work to house work and keeping family members healthy. Yet I trembled and struggled with uncertainty.
In Ubuntu, the unique period called ‘Lockdown’ is humorously captured and thought-provokingly reflected upon. We experienced the great global event of 2020 that sent seven billion people on this planet to their homes during the pandemic. All the things we feel, not knowing what day it is, yearning for the chance to hug, see a loved one, fear of what will be left when, if this is ever over, are all things we share. The book did leave me with a feeling of connection and showed that even the strange feeling I can’t shake, is normal and I’m not alone.
Shilpa Aroskar has a very natural storytelling ability that is engaging. There are many side stories in this book, but they connect to the whole in satisfying ways. Dive in to this wonderful parables of human spirit to explore love, laughter and freedom amongst one of the most challenging times of humanity.