** BY VENKATRAMAN S.

HE JALEBI TRILOGY GETS ITSTHIRDANDFINAL

book, Corrugated Slices. Taking thejalebi — a popu­lar Indian sweetmeat — as an anecdotal reference, au­thor Shombit Sengupta tries to juxtapose the j alebi’s contortions and tortuosity with an European eye, that is, looking at Indian scheme of things and behaviour patterns with an European style of looking and observ­ing. Sengupta bean his career with sweeping floors for a few years and went on to run his own company for many decades. The trilogy

I was aroused when I read the title, AVOID BOOKS THAT GIVE A’HOW TO’ GUIDE ON LIFE. BUT MY CURIOSITY

The Like Switch: An ex FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting and Winning People Over (Bloomsbury). With lessons on how to influence peo­ple by shaping your personality as well as how to improve communication skills by reading verbal and non-verbal cues, it is also a reflection of the struggle consul­tants like Jack Shafer and psychologists like Marvin Karlins face in the real world. Their need for breaking down layers and manipula­tive investigation sees every human as a case to be solved.

In its approach to Friendship By Inves­tigation, its starting point is a planned purpose that only YOU benefit from rather than being driven by hearts and minds that connect without agendas. It leads you to fake it all the way to ensnare the unsuspecting ‘friend’ into submission rather than handholding and inspir­ing each other in the journey of life.

The authors’ guide on Proximity, Frequency, Duration and Intensity cannot be denied as very effective means of creating relationships but it is the application of the ‘motive’ filter that creates dissonance: whether friendship is meant to last only until the mission is accomplished. The book provides learnings on ways to connect with people by drawing upon your own experiences that can resonate with others’. For example, the Temporal, Contemporaneous and Vicarious experiences. But again, it undermines its power by goading you to become the manipulator and
using curiosity about the other to merely pin the guilt.

Some pages propa­gate instilling immedi­ate discomfort in your child’s choice of friends by scanning them and putting them on the defensive from the very first meeting. In con­trast to today’s more accepted parenting philosophy of guiding your child constantly, trusting them and embracing their choice. Be their friend, not their body­guard. In another disjointed piece, there are objectionable moments that set poor examples such as lessons on how good looks and sexual innuendos could be used to extract higher tips. The author also seems to believe that real smiles can be practiced. Well, your heart must practice real living and real smiles will naturally flow. In today’s world, the need for sensitivity is crucial. It makes devious means for an insensitive friendship or highly manipulative living outrageous.

It’s confusing whether this book is a guide for making friends or strik­ing Machiavellian deals. It leaves you with the question: How do you wish to lead your life — by exploitation or by inspiration? ED

il Charulata is CEO, Razcnfish

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