Jasmine Builds on Shifting Sands- Book Review

It served a philosophical curry with a pickle of fiction. I crafted my diet, made my chapati, ate with the curry and touched the pickle.

‘Jasmine builds on shifting sands,’ I was unsure before picking this up, thinking should I read it or not. Every debut book generates this feeling in the reader’s mind. I pondered, “What does the title mean? Does it mean about Jasmine as a flower which grows in the sand or... I don’t know? Or is this is a non-fiction book? But whatever may be, it looked like the story of growth and hope.” 

And it turned out to be like that. At the end, I was hopeful, motivated, and blew off an air of doubts and prejudices I had since some time.

This is a story of Jasmine. A middle-class girl, studious, living a good and comfortable life with her friends. And then one day, a line of events put her into a modelling show in college. That little success changed her ambition and life forever. 

Spotted by Shaheen Jaiswal- a legendry name among the glitterati of Mumbai, Jasmine was fortunate enough to get her attention and later a chance to enter the modelling industry. 

Her life  followed a topsy-turvy track of highs and lows in the modelling industry, and then achieved success in her life.

This fictional story is the facade author created for the philosophies he wanted to convey with this book. The book talks about growth, motivation, focus, willpower, teamwork, manifestation of goals, realizing oneself, channeling your energy, being meditative, enjoying one’s life, failures, jealousy and self healing through Jasmine’s story. 

The introduction starts with this, 

"People will never truly understand something until it happens to them" It's not possible to make anyone conscious; self-awareness is the only way.

Author, Sanjay Desai created a relatable story to convey this message, and he was successful to an extent. 

I liked the emotional detox process mentioned in the book, and it reconfirmed my faith in spa treatments (no pun intended). I always had doubts if spa can be helpful or not, but this book helped me understand that spa treatments can be very helpful to destress your mind and body.

Author has also given equal importance to Yoga and how it can help to restore moods, destress mind and maintain hormonal balance. 

I liked when author compared dancing and music to meditation.

There are many epiphanic moments that he created, and I loved one when I read about middle-class people-

“Jasmine, I have read somewhere that it’s much better to belong to the middle class; because they don’t have to search for a goal in life. They only look up. They won’t go down, and hate being stuck where they are. You and I have had this advantage of being born into the great Indian middle class”

I think the below lines can be helpful to people who want to understand how much practice and dedication one should aim for, to achieve anything-

“What I want you to understand, Jasmine, is that the zone you are reaching, is the zone of creation. That’s the reason your performance is so scintillating. In spiritual terms, that’s the state of no-mind. In that moment, your mind and body are one, immersed with just the intent of dance. All your focus is on dance. You are not thinking of any outcome or anything else; you have no mind. Jasmine doesn’t exit; only her mudras and movements prevail”

The Epilogue of the book brought in surprising elements for me, as it explained the importance of prasad offering and doing arati to God. 

I could put other lines explaining arati and prasad, but I know the review is getting long so lets come to the overall picture of the book.

One point where I didn’t understand the author’s intention is about the role of Guru in life. Somewhere I felt Jasmine was successful only because she had people supporting her. In the absence of it, she would have been a failure. It didn’t go well with me.

If I truly look from the perspective of fiction, then the story could have been framed in a better way, but it does not take away anything about the thoughts and processes that explain the manifestation of one’s goal. I would like to call this a very good non-fiction book.

Lastly, guys read it if you are in that frame of mind to accept and learn from philosophies. 

Gulp it, if you cannot figure about your unsuccessful attempts in anything, and you can also checkout this ConsciousLeap course.

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Happy Reading :)

Chetan Maheshwari

Hello, I am a Project Management Professional, and an author and a blogger by passion. I like good sarcasm and humor. Books, people around me, and nature inspire me, and my blogs and book reflect the same.

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