Saturday, September 10, 2011

Book Review: Timepass - Memoirs of Protima Bedi

Though I've been eyeing it for a long time, I picked up this book from my lending library on a day when I was particularly in a "I am-just-going-to-follow-my-heart" state of mind.
The book is a collection of letters and excerpts from Protima Bedi’s journals. She wished to publish her Autobiography someday but little did she know that it would be published posthumously.
The presentation of the book is as raw and as simple as Protima Bedi’s outlook towards life. The book does not carry any air of the classy-literary style that one would expect from a noted classical dancer's memoirs nor do you find the sensationalism of a bold model's life story. The journal entries are all straightforward and the letters are simple and straight from the heart. Beyond being known as the Nudist of Juhu and the creator of Nrityagram, we see a very simple, even innocent person at the core. Her exploits, love affairs, struggles are all discussed very honestly and in a matter of fact style. The few black and white photographs that are added could have been of a better quality. They also don't contribute much to the story of Protima Bedi. Pooja Bedi and the editor perhaps didn't have accesss to many good pictures.
Initially, I felt the title of the book “Timepass” was rather frivolous. Only later does one realise that it sums up her simple philosophy of life. She says only birth and death are the two truths of life and everything else in between is just “timepass". There are such small, sometimes unintended, nuggets of wisdom in many chapters. The book offers some surprising and shocking moments - for instance, when she casually mentions names of celebrities and well-known people as her lovers/friends and when she talks about the ordeals she faced during her Odissi training days and the initial days of Nrityagram.
The last couple of chapters are very moving and philosophical in nature. The readers are taken to another level in terms of their understanding of Protima Gauri Bedi (How she dropped the name Bedi and added Gauri is quite funny). Her thoughts and actions during the last few chapters almost seem prophetic. One perhaps just needs to be in touch with his/her inner self to walk the path to sheer Bliss.
Inspiring in parts, thought provoking and touching in parts, this book is a good read for those who appreciate the essence of of free-spiritedness and is sure to be more than just a “timepass”!

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