Book Review - The Kiss of Life by Emraan Hashmi & Bilal Siddiqi
The Kiss of Life,
by Emraan Hashmi & Bilal Siddiqi
I always wanted to read this book, but had no idea of what to expect. Knowing how promotional activities are designed these days it could have gone either ways, but something told me that this was not your regular biography. And the reason I wanted to read this book was because I like to read genuine unabridged stories of people. I like to know how they react to different situations in life, because that in it's own way builds our character. So when a story as real as this one is written, it appeals to me a lot and you bet I am reading it. It's always an added advantage when it's written with a good intent and for an excellent cause.
Being such a popular actor, Emraan Hashmi has always been in the limelight for his bold acting and an image tag of being a "serial-kisser", which often shields the reality of who this person really is. Outside his screen presence he is an actor, a family man, a homebody and most importantly, an incredible father.
Ayaan, Emraan's son, was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and from that day onwards their lives changed forever. The word cancer itself sends a shiver down anyone's spine, but as long as it's not happening to us, or anyone we know, it's often left at sharing as just a Facebook post. This book goes beyond, and along with the journey of an actor in the industry, it also gives a full account of the struggle of a parent with an ailing child. This book is as much about the fears of parents as it is about an innocent clueless child, who just wants to have a burger or ice cream, but probably can't because he will throw up later.
The fact that cancer has become so common these days, and a lot of us know someone either diagnosed or battling with it, that it should alarm all of us. We have medical camps, advertisements, marathons and other organized events, to bring awareness about a disease. But we still lack a lot of the basics, the various treatments, and the psychology of the carers. We must educate ourselves, not only about the fundamentals of the ailment, but also about how we can contribute better, and be more mindful of those around the actual patient - who are perhaps as distressed emotionally as their loved ones are physically.
Writing about yourself is different to writing about your family, because when it comes to our families or close ones we all get very protective. So it's not an easy task for anyone to write a book on their personal lives, let alone about a trying time that involves the health of their young child. Reliving extremely emotional moments of fear, panic and loss, along with the unpleasant memories brings with it the feeling of vulnerability. To be able to find strength in that, is a difficult but admirably a courageous thing to realize. It only proves how incredible a human being Emraan Hashmi is, to excavate deep into the darkest days of his life only so he could share with everyone the many ins and outs of a disease. I like how meticulous and comprehensive Emraan has been in this book in regards to the things he learned from his own experience, from that of fellow patients, from doctors and cares, to the endless articles and research papers he went through in order to find a better and lesser harmful treatment for his son. Kudos to Bilal Siddiqi for being able to narrate and deliver the message so beautifully, for delicately handling a story of a child battling with cancer, and sharing the facts in simple layman language so everyone could benefit from it.
My biggest take away from this book, apart from my grown respect for Emraan Hashmi, is that nutrition and a peaceful mind have a much bigger role to play in our lives than we realize. It's so easy to fall prey to every day anxieties, crumble to work pressures and ignore our health for the sake of socializing. There is a burning need for change. It's about being mindful and staying well-informed, so we can make better choices for ourselves.
This book is not your one stop guide on medical advice on cancer or even nutrition, but it's also a journey of a father and a son, who went through a difficult time together and made an effort towards building a better life for themselves. It's about their attitude to emotional upheavals in life, it's about learning from a young child's innocent mind, and it's about growing and being a better version of ourselves.
It's not really about this book, and I won't ask you to buy it or even know about his story, but I urge you to read more about our bodies, nutrition, health and nature, so we can not only make better decisions for ourselves, but lead a healthier and happier life.
About The Author
Emraan Hashmi is a 37-year-old famous Bollywood actor, who has acted in several movies and is recognized for playing unconventional and bold characters on screen. This book is about his son Ayaan's battle with cancer at the age of just 4 years.
Bilal Siddiqi is a young and talented published author, screenwriter and more. This is his first book that he wrote with Emraan, and I wish he continues to write.
Price Rs. 399 (Purchased on Amazon for Rs. 170. Available at great discounts.)
Pages 304 pages
Publisher Penguin Books India
Rating ✮✮✮✮✮ (5 Stars)
Until next time, Happy Reading!
Love & Peace