Book: Leaving Loneliness – A Workbook: Building Relationships with Yourself and Others


David Narang, PhD, is a psychologist who practices in Santa Monica, California. In his work, he has found that the people who come to him frequently want to work on problematic patterns they find themselves repeating in all their relationships—what psychology refers to as attachment styles. A psychologist, meditator and Buddhist, he helps his clients to construct good relationships with themselves and others. His motivation for writing Leaving Loneliness was to help large numbers of people end unnecessary emotional pain and build thriving connections with themselves and others.


‘Leaving Loneliness : A Workbook: Building Relationships with Yourself and Others’ by Dr. David Narang


We are not meant to be lonely. Building thriving relationships with yourself and others is one of the most rewarding parts of a life well lived. However, many people have difficulty building satisfying closeness, and many others feel trapped in patterns of painful and stormy relationships. If you have experienced repetitive, long-term difficulties with the way you form relationships, there is a way to understand your problems, and to stop them from spoiling your life. Using the precise and practical exercises in this workbook, you can harness the strength of an area of psychology called attachment theory, integrated with Eastern mindfulness practices, to assist you on your path out of loneliness. Exercises in the book will help you to identify specific problems in your relationship style and tackle those problems with precision, helping you build close, warm, and consistent relationships with yourself and others.

Anyone can learn how to build more successful relationships by using the easy-to-follow exercises in this book. Dr. Narang’s straightforward book Leaving Loneliness: A Workbook is a well-written, engaging read. Rather than lecture, Dr. Narang engages readers in exercises that allow them to create the change they want to see happen. It is the essential guide to building the satisfying relationships you have always been meant to have.

Author: Somnath Batabyal

The literary flower that bloomed out to be Somnath Batabyal, the author of ‘The Price We Pay’ (his latest release), had sprouted in the city of Siliguri (West Bengal) in the  year 1974. Nobody could ever imagine that the child, who avoided school in childhood and was concerned more about badminton while playing in Guwahati, would have the honour of topping in his degree of English literature at University of Delhi. But that was that! Once done with his degree, he spent a good six years as a professional reporter and gathered the experience of working with many of the most reputed news houses like The Asian Age, The Pioneer, The Hindustan Times and The Week. 

Somnath Batabyal

Somnath Batabyal

It was the two awards that he received for his journalistic skills that took him away from India. The first was Dhiren Bhagat Award for investigative journalism under which he got a two-month working scholarship with The Daily Telegraph. The second was The Chevening Young Print Journalist Award that included two months working at The Sunday Times in London after a two-month course at the University of Westminster. This was in year 2000.

Later on it’s not that he did not return to India. After being back in Delhi in 2001, he took to television journalism and joined NDTV (New Delhi Television) as a Special Correspondent from Calcutta. He continued to hold that position for two years.

It was again because of scholarships he received in the year 2003 that he went back to London. He did his Masters in Anthropology of the Media from SOAS, London. Then went on to do Ph.D. too. It was his research work that took the form of his first book ‘ Making News in India: Star News and Star Ananda’ that was published by Routledge.

The first was followed by ‘Ecology of Participation: A walk through the Media Environment’, which he brought out during the time he was Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Heidelberg in Germany from the year 2009 to 2012.  After that he joined as lecturer in Media in Development at the School of Oriental and African studies in the year 2012. He married musician and musicologist, Georgie Pope in the same year. He also has to his credit the much acclaimed documentary ‘Don’t Cut My Head Off’ as the co-director. At present he writes a regular column for The Sunday Guardian entitled ‘Nomad Notes’.

His latest book ‘The Price You Pay’, a thriller based on a case of kidnapping. It has the storyline of the adventures of a young crime journalist and it is set in Delhi, when it was at the turn of a millennium. 

Book Review: Barnabas

About the author:
Sangeeta Nambiar is a playwright and theatre director with a background in television and films. She has worked extensively in Delhi and Mumbai, writing, directing and producing for Indian television. In 2001, she moved to Singapore and began to explore her love for theatre. She has written and directed five plays and is currently working on her first feature film.

Introduction to the book:
British India, the summer of 1942, Bombay. From the leafy lanes of Wodehouse Road a British woman goes missing from her home. Her husband, Thomas Stanton, wants to keep the police out of the loop and thus calls in Bombay’s first Private Detective, Barnabas Mehta. But that isn’t enough to solve the mystery for him. His search for Rose leads him to the bylanes of Girgaum where he finds a murder to solve and webs of deceit to traverse. Who would murder Rose so brutality? Family secrets and the machinations of an evil mind – they are all there for Barnabas Mehta to unveil!

Overview and Analysis:
The book has a narrative that flows very easily and rhythmically. Although the story line is quite predictable, yet the plot keeps the reader get along very well. The book is successful in arousing the curiosity in you to know the end just like it is with detective serials. ‘Barnabas’ gives you a feel of old-time detective serials.
The writer’s experience of the theatre also adds to the interesting narrative. Even in the often obvious state of affairs there is a dose of surprises and revelations too.
A very positive aspect of the simple and creative style of writing of Nambiar is that each and every character has been carved out very carefully. None of them has been neglected.
The book definitely serves to be a good read.

Book Review: ‘Sunlit Hearts’

Everything is wrong and yet nothing is wrong. Every second character in ‘Sunlit Hearts’ is indulging in infidelity and still manages to have our sympathies. This is how the author, Meenu Mehrotra manages to weave the web of gripping narrative of the novel. We have relationship of three couples presented before us in the novel, and all the three give us different solutions to the relationship troubles. The author does not pass any judgement over any of the options. 
The mainstream story is of Medha’s unrequited love for Nikhil, and then her affair with him after marital dissatisfaction with Rishi (Nikhil too is married to Priyanka at that time). At one point of time Medha bares her heart out to her close friend, Sonal and writes: “She listened to my woes…She had always thought that I had adjusted well in this marriage, in spite of the major divide in my temperament and Rishi’s. My frustration was probably the tip of the iceberg. There was more to this marriage that was demolishing its sanctity.” 
We also have a view of the influence of extra-marital affairs upon the children – Yash (Medha and Rishi’s son) and Neha (Nikhil and Priyanka’s daughter). The author does not neglect this aspect of child psychology.
 Then we also have as a small sub-plot the story of Rajan, Nikil’s friend. He had got divorced from his first wife, Radhika and got married to Malvika. In his case, it is a revival of relationship with the divorced wife after an unsatisfying attempt at marrying second time. Rajan met Radhika and revived this connection and in his own words he “could not resist her. It’s a beautiful relationship. We have got connected.” The reason mentioning this very small part of the novel here is that Rajan-Malvika and Rajan-Radhika relationship adds a third dimension to a way of sorting out relationships. 
The author traces the developments psychologically, how they influence the characters in their own unique way on each. Credit is deserved by the author for sensitive characterization, keeping in mind various aspects. In Medha’s character we feel a lady torn between being a lover and a mother, while trying to snub the wife in her. The characters are life-like and nowhere do we as readers feel that there is something extra-terrestrial about them. 
The plot is woven very beautifully and gradually unfolds itself with grace and charm, while keeping intact the interest of the reader. The pace of development is very appropriate; the narration is neither rushy nor too sluggish. Undoubtedly, the book makes an interesting reading.