Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Book Review - 31 Miles: Can we ever win against ourselves? by Vinita Bakshi

The lines on the cover "Can we ever win against ourselves?" was the thing that got my attention when I first saw "31 Miles" by Vinita Bakshi on Vimmy's bookshelf. Though I took the book a few months back, it took me some time to come back to it. I wanted to read this book for quite a time but one thing or another kept coming in the way.

Book Blurb
Mansa has the perfect family life—a husband, two daughters and a big house. But she feels that something is missing. After shifting to a major city, she decides to take the reins of her life in her own hands, she decides to step out and seek a career.
While enjoying the new-found freedom and confidence, she completely immerses herself in her work and her new life. Till one fateful day when she finds herself embroiled in a passionate affair—with an online lover. And then everything falls apart!
31 Miles is the story of a woman who rediscovers herself after marriage, and works towards self-emancipation. Will she give it all up for the elusive mirage created by the stranger? What turn will her life take next?

The protagonist of this book is a married woman with a child and a perfect husband. She herself was a good housewife. To change the course of her life, she decided to make her career in cooking. She got in touch with new technology and online social network. She started chatting with another man living on another continent of the world and the chatting soon became intimate. Though having a perfect husband and belonging to a pretty conservative family background, she fell in love with this guy. And this guy stopped talking to her as soon as she insisted on meeting. This experience made her shattered inside. These incidents had some past life connections, which I am not gonna tell you. To find out you've got to read this. Cause what's the fun if I tell you everything, right?

Overall this book is good but not what I have expected. From the cover and the description, this book has had a very spiritual vibe which is not there up to the mark. Only the second half of the book is spiritual in some manner. What kept me going was the poems and Shayaris. I also liked quotation those are given at the beginning of each chapter.

To summarize it, don't read this book having expectations of spiritual experience, you may be disappointed. Also, have some patience till the second half of book cause it gets better there.

  1. Cover : - 3/5
  2. Content : - 3/5
  3. Character : -3/5
  4. Concept : - 3/5
  5. Overall : - 3/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads


  1. In 31 miles Vinita has given a fresh dimension to the definition of an affair.
    In our current understanding, an affair is linked with physicality. She has very creatively and imaginatively, explored the realm of the psyche getting involved, through an online affair.
    Very interesting.
    And what is more invasive?
    Body or the mind?
    A love affair involves both body and mind.
    But an affair?
    Only the body.
    And an online affair?
    Only the mind? Or thoughts? Or psyche!
    Vinita becomes an explorer in the book where the protagonist, a loving wife and mother, learns computers to better utilise her time; and gets into an online affair, across the globe. She, here in New Delhi and the 'online-lover' in California.
    Does she give an answer?
    Read it, experience it, live it out in your thoughts...
    31 miles is one of the most amazing books I have read in the recent past, comparing favourably with 'The girl on the train' for the unusual quality of the plot.
    In today's digital world with computers and tablets and smartphones and internet ruling our lives, Vinita takes us a step forward...into our psyche, in such a digital world. Without defining it, she subtly (and maybe unknowingly) differentiates between the mind and the psyche. Dr. Wilder Penfield, a leading neurologist and considered the father of micro-neurosurgery, wrote the epochal 'Mystery of the Mind' about half a century ago, where he made the distinction between the mind - a metaphysical entity - and the brain...a totally definable physical organ of the human body. The brain is in the skull. And the mind? In the brain? Or does it share residential space within the heart?
    So too does Vinita force the reader to explore emotions. Are they a synonym for the Psyche? Or is it entirely metaphysical...
    It is intriguing. Especially when she introduces a spiritual guru as a possible solution to the protagonist's troubled emotions (or psyche?) when a 31 miles drive, to give a physical add-on to the virtual friendship, is not taken in the verdant romantic Switzerland, leaving her disturbed, almost shattered.
    Disturbed enough to seek a metaphysical or spiritual guru...on the recommendation of a friend who relates her 'chilled-out' attitude to this Guru Ma.
    The protagonist, and some aspects of her life are such that almost every reader can identify with them: she is a conventionally successful person, with a doting husband, loving daughter, transitioning to a successful business person and entrepreneur, yet with voids within her. Where do these voids occupy their abode? Heart, soul, mind, even body, psyche, emotions? Read 31 miles and make your personalized judgement.
    This is the beauty of Vinita's mind and creativity, transcreated through her words, that it encourages every readers' personal response.
    Highly recommended... teenagers upwards!




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