Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review: Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul

Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul. A Book of Miracles. 101 True Stories of Healing, Faith, Devine Intervention and Answered Prayers. By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Raksha Bharadia. Westland, 2011 pp 383+

Genre and Series: This title is the latest among the series of Chicken Soup, first one published in 1993 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. It is, as can be guessed, a book in Inspirational Genre. Earlier titles in the series intended for Indian Market include: Chicken Soup for the Indian Bride, Chicken Soup for Indian Doctors, Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul, Chicken Soup for the Indian Teenage girl, Chicken Soup for Indian Women, Chicken Soup for Indian Mothers, Chicken Soup for the Indian Romantic Girl, Indian Spiritual Soul, CS for Indian Fathers, CS for Indian Single's Soul etc.

Authors and Contributors: Apart from original authors Canfield & Hansen, this specific title has been authored / compiled by Raksha Bharadia. She is also the author of India CS titles shown in bold letters above. Stories have been collected from known and unknown writers. There are bloggers, columnists, famous writers / journalists, IAS officers, Engineers, School and College Students and Teachers. -- in a way, common people.   
There are 101 short stories all narrated superbly from personal experience. List of contributors gives details of 68 authors, indicating that some have given more than one story. This can be confirmed by a quick look at the Table of Contents too. Generally authors list is arranged under surname but here I find the order to be natural: Something odd. Perhaps because of the background of Bharadia having worked in Femina, Gurlz and the like, most of the contributors (83%) are women. One positive thing about the list is that almost all of them have Email!

Grouping of Stories and Story Titles:

Signs from above
The Healing Power of a Prayer
Love from Beyond
HIS/HER Messenger
HIS Saving Grace
Angels amongst us
Answered Prayers
Everyday Miracles
Devine Appointment
The Magic of Faith
Our Guardian Angel
The Call from Within

Looking at the grouping of the stories one can get an idea of subjects covered. The book need not be read from cover to cover. Picking up what appeals to your mind to read first is made easy through thoughtful and meaningful grouping. All stories are short, say about two pages. Not only that all titles of stories are also short; Ma is the shortest title. Longest is Coincidence is God's way of staying Anonymous.

Stories per-se:  Though it is Non-Fiction in categorization, many stories covered border on Fiction, but unbelievably true.  Most talk about commonplace occurrences such as: a pet being ill, some loved one recovering from illness, problem of transporting a heavy metal "safe" across a long distance, saving people before and after accidents, Kali Ma appearing in person, turning points in one's life coming after long waiting and prayers etc. I liked "Ma" and "The Rickshawala". Anyone interested getting inspiration of any sort from books will try this book.


Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278.
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