I would describe “Wise Enough To Be Foolish” as an Indian version of Eat, Pray and Love. However there wasn’t too much eating or praying, but this was compensated by some amount of drinking and our protagonist Gauri did not have to take a year long sabbatical to find herself. Nothing against one of my favorite authors Elizabeth Gilbert or her amazing book “Eat, Pray, Love” which I loved, but I found “Wise Enough To Be Foolish”, a more believable journey of young girl who transforms into a woman of strength while being bold enough to make her own choices without compromising her individual beliefs or independence, while striving to make her place in the world, discover love and happiness, and finally make peace with herself.
The book is a fictionalized account of the author’s life from being a difficult middle child and the quint-essential black sheep of the family, to a rebellious teenager, to a career woman who falls in love with who she thinks is the perfect guy only to have her fairy tale end in divorce. The book starts off where Gauri discovers that her husband has been cheating on her and from there it flashes back to her childhood and moves ahead in a pretty quick pace describing her life until she turns 40 packing in as much information as possible without being too preachy or boring.
It seems that the goal of the author has been to share her experiences with the world. The book seems to strive to give other women hope and help them believe that everything works out in the end. And for that Gauri Jayaram needs to be appreciated. It takes a lot of courage to talk about the difficult process of finding love, one’s failures (especially in relationships) as confidently as she has and some humility to give credit where required for her successes. By the end of the book it is heartening to see a woman accept the things that she cannot change and charge ahead to achieve the goals she believes are possible. She places emphasis on the fact that you attract what you want in the universe and it is up to an individual to think right thoughts and pursue their passions in the face of all adversity. And the mother of all lessons, the fact that is perfectly normal for an individual to live life by his/her rules. That, it is perfectly acceptable for women to be non-conformists and protect what they consider their own identity and independence. What seems like a foolish choice to the rest of the world would actually be the best choice for YOU!
What I did find strange about the Gauri was the ease with which she always comes out of every situation looking like the better person. She even declares the same in her characteristic forthright manner to her ex-husband during a conversation with him. Is this even possible? How can one only always emerge as the better person after being hit by every curve ball life throws at them? Maybe she is a saint or maybe this is where a fictionalized part of the memoir comes in 🙂
The book also scratches the surface of serious issues issues such as child abuse and the gender equality in India. In fact, it converses on great details about the later.
The language is conversational and the entire book is laced with humor, a writing trait I always enjoy. The cover of the book is stylish – makes you wonder where the woman is off to! 🙂
Pick it up if you are in a mood to read a story about how it always works out!!