Book Review: The Magic of Friendships by Shubha Vilas

Book Name: The Magic of Friendships

Author: Shubha Vilas

Publisher: Penguin

Genre: Self-help

Rating: 5/5

Book Blurb: Do you have numerous friends on social media, but hardly any in real life?
Do you find that your relationships don’t last?
These and similar questions have now become the part and parcel of our lives. Today, more than ever, friendship has become more important than any other relationship. The warmth and companionship that a good friend can provide is unmatched and each one of us craves for that special friend to whom we can unburden our heart or seek help from in troubled times. But not all of us are that lucky!
In his book, Shubha Vilas discusses, in a simple and straight-forward manner, what is missing in our friendships today and the various scenarios that prevent people from making and maintaining good friends.

Review: The Magic of Friendships explores the unique and sacred bond of friendship. Shubha Vilas draws inspiration from a unique blend of mythological tales, from anecdotes and personal experiences to explain what friendship is all about.

The book begins with the fundamental premise (quite true too) that all friendships should bring joy, else why be friends? Human life has a short life span and one must not waste it on people who bring no joy into our lives. Shubha explains how good friendships can result in positive effects from his own childhood experience where he rediscovered his academic intellect by changing schools.

The author explains the four levels of friendship: Bandhu or associate, sakhas, priya sakhas (confidential friends) and suhrits (best friends).

The Magic of Friendships is not a preachy kind of a book. Its almost like talking to a best friend. Shubha’s narration is mild, and he is doing a great servcie by reintroducing the mythology and ancient wisdom of India to the youth (this is a book that should break barriers and appeal to the youth).

The book goes on to delve deeper and Shubha quotes effortlessly from the scriptures and famous authors. This unique blend makes this book highly relatable and gives it a diverse appeal. The Magic of Friendships explores why friendship is a responsibility, not a competition, and the last chapter (probably the best in this book and a befitting end) goes into friendships beyond friends (with parents, animals etc.).

“When you do find such wonderful souls, latch on to them. They are your primary sources of growth and networking.”

I had a similar experience in school where I hardly connected with anybody (a bunch of bullies) and I thought the problem was with me. This changed, however, in college where I managed to make friendships for life. While in school, I had one or two close friends, I had managed to develop close bonds with almost 50 odd people during my college years. As I look back, I realise this was partly because in school, everybody hated me since I was a topper and they looked upon me as a competitor. My friendship value was merely limited to notes and during exam time while in college, everybody had matured and there was no serious cut-throat fight for grades. Shubha’s book will explain why friendships matter and how you can be a better friend.

Perhaps everybody takes a lifetime to become friends with their parents. The emotional bond between a child and parent somehow develops into friendship (and should) as the child matures but for some it takes a lifetime (and never happens for some unfortunate people). This book will explain why.

“Did you know that nearly all emotional problems that adults go through later in life are somehow or the other connected with their relationships with their parents?”

At the end of the book, there is a chapter on online friendship and being friends with yourself. This could have been a larger chapter since the concept is true for today’s generation where many friendships develop over the internet.

“One such friendship is celebrated in the Mahabharata. Krishna called Druapadi his sakhi and Draupadi called him her sakha.”

This is a fascinating book, written very well in Shubha’s unique style. He shares many accounts inside this little book and reintroduces tales from the Mahabharata and Ramayana to explain the strong but complex bonds between friends. Quoting from multiple authors, this book is very inspirational and will appeal to all readers.

I was called a selfish friend at some point in my life but as somebody who has been blessed with wonderful friends and has tried to become a better friend, this book was an eye-opener.

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