Book Review: Bottling up feelings no solution to any problem

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By Kishori Sud

Title: The THC: Under a Gibbous Moon; Author: Manoj Jain; Publisher: Notion Press; Pages: 194; Price: Rs 250

If you are going through emotional turmoil in your own life, “The THC: Under a Gibbous Moon” is a great motivator to make you sign up for therapy at the fictional Total Holistic Centre (THC), a wellness health farm in Mumbai, to find solace.

This is because bottled up emotions affect individuals not just mentally, but physically too.

Author Manoj Jain deals with topics like homosexuality, impotency, nicotine addiction, genophobia (fear of sex), insomnia, mild depression and more in an engaging, fast-paced style narration of the story of three individuals.

Although the book promotes THC unabashedly, its narration is rather bold. Even if you are not in the exact situation, you will feel a sense of relatability at some or the other point. It actually hits home in some or the other chapter.

In the narrative, the relationship between a father and son is shown in a light which is common in mostly all households, but not really spoken about. While many parents develop a strained relationship with their teenage sons and daughters, it turns out to be a vicious cycle for every generation.

The story revolves around Samar Bhatnagar, Sanjaneka and Varun Agarkar, all in their late 40s, who come to THC with various ailments — both physical and mental. They are given different therapies and treatments to help them face their problems and are encouraged to talk about their respective pains with anybody or to anything or just pen it out in a diary.

A one-time read, the book talks in detail about sex, emotional expectations and betrayal.

Love being an emotion with a number of facets, the sentiment has been explored in a lot of ways by Jain.

It makes you introspect your own life and you realise that it touches upon a lot of problems that you yourself must have gone through in your life sometime — which you had probably locked up in the never-visit-again department in your head and heart — when unreciprocated love struck you.

Be it a one-sided hug to your parents, words that remained unsaid, or simply the fact that you could not share your heartache with anyone due to fear of embarrassment.

At the centre, the three individuals go through different kinds of yoga sessions and are also asked to try their hand at gardening. Pranayams, pebbled stone reflexology and neem wraps are some of the sessions that are a part of their treatment at THC.

In the end, when one of the characters lets his diaries loose into a flowing lake, you too feel the burden lifting as he lets go of his own whirlwind of bottled up emotions.


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