Wise enough to be Foolish is a story of a woman growing up in middle-class India, working and finding her own identity. And going through a series of relationships, a bad marriage and finally finding her arm candy whom she finally settles down with.

To begin with, I liked the story of an average girl growing up in Army Cantonments, having consistent problems with parents and siblings. Always finding herself in the company of boys. And finally getting motivated to do good by someone she had a crush on. Moves to a hostel in Mumbai where she makes friends. And discovers what we call the ‘cool’ life of a big city. Works in the hospitality industry and enjoys some of the frills that come with it. Goes through a series of bad relationships – and one should never believe a story heard only from one side. Marries someone she actually thought she is having a casual relationship with. Get divorced. And goes wild on a manhunt like a possessed woman. Finally, settles down for someone without even meeting him. And the story stops there with cliché – rest is history.

Wise enough to be Foolish beginning was decent. Capturing the disconnect with her parents, of living in a big city on her own, of discovering the big bad world on her own. But somewhere it became all about the men in her life. And the chase in the end actually made me feel a bit of let down as I was kind of enjoying the story till then. In the end, she made it look like as if it was all about finding a man. And there is no bigger purpose bigger than that in the life of a woman. I have a feeling it was not her intention to say so, but this is how it came out. Incidentally, it is the ending of the book that leaves an aftertaste for the reader.

Being from travel industry as someone who says who enjoys travel, her only travels mentioned are either official one or the last one to the US to meet a few guys – i.e. when she was on a dating break.

The story begun well but somewhere lost it. Language is nice, informal and conversational that suits well for the first person narration. At best it can be called author’s memoirs with disguised names. Is it an extraordinary journey – nope. Is it a funny, hilarious journey – nope. Can it inspire others – don’t think so.

It is one of those I, me, myself stories that now I am sure is becoming THE genre of this decade. Are we as a generation getting so self-centered that we fail to see anything other than our view – this is something that needs serious pondering?

You may buy this book – Wise enough to be Foolish by Gauri Jayaram at Amazon.

Wise enough to be Foolish by Gauri Jayaram

1 COMMENT

  1. Dear Anuradha,

    Thanks for reading and for your review. Of course every reader is entitled to forming their own opinion and that is the purpose of a review, however I feel you have made some selective opinions and references here that I would like to correct.

    Let me start with the last part – A memoir by definition is an account of the personal experiences of an author – so as I, me, myself as one can expect it to be. The reason these are popular is not just because we are self cantered generation but more than that because many readers out there have an interest in these books. I am no one to judge whether it is right or wrong to be a part of the I, me, myself generation but like the book says at many places – it is what it is.

    Some other parts that I would like to point out as incorrect inferences from your reading are here
    1. ‘marries someone she actually thought she is having a casual relationship’ – not sure what part of the book led you to believing this but it was certainly not a casual relationship, even if in hindsight he was not the love of her life.
    2. ‘her only travels mentioned are either official one or the last one to US to meet a few guys’ – maybe you missed you entire life changing chapters on trips to Nepal.
    3. ‘In the end she made it look like as if it was all about finding a man, and there is no bigger purpose bigger than that in life of a woman’. – I am quoting from page 177 ‘I will probably be happy just adopting a child and raising her all by myself’ she replied. Her family would have accepted that and honestly, what is the big deal about being single forever? – there are many other parts but I think I have made my point.

    ‘is it a funny, hilarious journey – nope, can it inspire others – don’t think so’ – these of course are personal takes and like I said you are very much entitled to yours. I agree though it is not an extraordinary story because I have never considered myself an extraordinary person.

    Yesterday, I received a message from an anonymous reader who said that the book gave the strength to not become another Jigna. If I can make that difference to even one person’s life, the journey of writing and sharing for me will be a worthy one.

    Best wishes and thank you again for reading the book.

    Gauri

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