Shades of Life – Sublime Joy is in Living

Title : Shades of Life – Sublime Joy is in Living images
Author : Vasundhara Ramanujan & Mohammad Akmal, MD
Publisher : Westland
ISBN : 978-93-8162-655-9
Number of Pages : 160
Price [INR] : 195
Genre: Non-Fiction/Inspiration

Synopsis : 15 year old, Aditya experiences headaches that refused to go away. A few consultations with the doctors and many tests later, the diagnosis is that Aditya’s kidneys were heading towards complete failure.

Shades of Life is a real life story narrated by Aditya’s mother, Vasundhara. When somebody in a family is affected by a disease, it is not just that person’s pain and suffering, the entire family is affected. As the disease progressed, Shades of Life, is a journey of Aditya’s family, as they learnt, grew and evolved to face the challenges and find solutions to lead a positive and fulfilling life.

Review : Shades of Life is a first person narration of life’s trials and tribulations faced by the author and her family, when her teenage son is diagnosed with deteriorating kidney function. It explains the stage by stage progression of the renal failure as  a disease, its prognosis, diagnosis, the various tests involved and the therapy both dietary and medical (surgical and non-surgical). Since, I am a Science graduate and a Pharmaceutical professional, the language and terminology used was something I could relate to. But even a layman can get a complete understanding of the disease from this book, which is indeed a plus point.

Bed-wetting beyond the age of four could be due to kidney reflux and which could lead to kidney failure later on, was a shocking revelation. And this kidney reflux if treated early could lower the chances of kidney failure. So, bed wetting should get medically treated is something which is an enlightening take-away from this book.

A child suffering from a life threatening disease, a disease that would alter the life of everybody in the family, a disease which would need a life time of healthcare, could be daunting and difficult to handle but here is this family which believed, “through strategic thinking, we wanted to devise plans for overcoming problems that we would face, with appropriate actions to offset them”. And this they followed religiously all through these years during which Aditya had to go through 2 kidney transplants and innumerable hospitalizations and visits to the doctors. And that Aditya lives his life to the fullest, has achieved so much despite his illness is awe-inspiring.

Shades of Life is truly an inspiring tale of grit and determination to face all odds that life throws your way.

The book is written in a simple and limpid style and the reflections at the end of each chapter gives the important insights/learnings. However, some of the reflections are way too elaborative, which have already been dealt in detail in the main chapter. A crisp and a concise or even a bullet-pointed summary would had been much better.

The purpose of this book is not to entertain but to inform, to create awareness and sensitivity towards this chronic disease and it successfully proves its point.

This book is a must read for all to prepare oneself to meet such exigencies of renal failure and to help find a life-saving solution.

Rating : 4/5

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16 thoughts on “Shades of Life – Sublime Joy is in Living

  1. My BIL is suffering from the same ailment. Unfortunately it was discovered immediately after his mrrg. These days he is living on medications and controlled routine. Basically postponing the transplant for as long as possible. This book will surely help me. Thanks for reviewing it. I am buying it immediately.

    • Yes, that’s true. The book gives in-depth insights about kidney failure and how the family coped up with it bravely but the grit and courage to fight and bounce back is something that can be applied in any life’s situation that comes our way and that’s something that needs to remembered and practiced by all of us.

    • Yes. It is mentioned in this book… this book is about:
      1. What happened to me?
      2. What did I learn from responding?”
      I believe, though it is all about Kidney Failure but a lot can be learnt from it and applied in our day to day battles too!

  2. A close family member is on the brink of this and needs transplant soon. In a doctors family, there is no dearth of knowledge and information about this, but there are very few options for a donor. I only hope that India legalizes donation of organs by someone other than a family member. So many lose their life only because they don’t have a donor.

    • Oh, that’s sad!
      Well said, let’s hope so coz for want of a donor, so many find it so difficult with this disease… so frequent visits to the hospitals… dialysis, expensive medicines and so much of care and stress too!

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