K D Joseph’s semi-fictional book Lessons for Success, which is a tool for self development, details how to live, learn and succeed and even take cues from various experiences and messages. Each chapter outlines the personal and professional experiences of the protagonist as well as how he takes the help of mentors for the benefit of the readers. Indeed these are nothing but lessons for success.
The protagonist is a bank employee, the creme de la creme among the rich and famous who looks back at the steep learning curve he traversed, the path travelled from nowhere to the present pinnacle of eminence. A living example of an established failure, he approaches a psychiatrist, Dr Pai, for a remedy for all his problems. In turn, Dr Pai advises him to seek and find a ‘Mask’ by all means. “You need a mask for all your problems. And, with the mask on, your efforts will result in sweet success.”
He sets out on the Herculean task of finding it, the tool of deliverance from his worries as his life is in a total mess. And finally how he finds it forms the basis of the story.
This book is nothing but a useful and sure guide and tool for many people facing failures.
The author’s style of writing is very interesting and readable and book has been written in a simple, humorous and off beat style. “I sat through the interviews, at times, like a cat on a hot tin roof. At other times, I was merely a dead fish, in a fuzzy logic refrigerator, waiting my turn to be cooked in a micro-wave oven. I was alternatively fried, then frozen; frozen then fried; at the whims and fancies of the interview board. I was as sad as sad could be.”
Focusing on both his personal and professional life, K D Joseph brings out how the protagonist changes from living a lazy, pessimistic lifestyle to embarking on a journey without any hint of goals and possibilities in search of the elusive MASK which is motivation, attitude, skills and knowledge. Having a lot of utility value especially for management, literature and science students, the book is a blend of the native with Mahabharata stories and liberal quotations from Shakespearean dramas like Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Othello and others. The book also has descriptions from many countries like Cambodia and Vietnam, and the reader gets to know the colonial history, geography, lifestyle of these places.
The author basically aims to provide a stimulus package for self-improvement, that is give life lessons. Fortunately, he does not sermonise or preach like some management books do. With lot of lively characters, the book makes for an interesting and happy reading at any time of the day.