God Won’t Help: A book that teaches humans to live life like there’s no God to blame
“Naag devta mera Physics bacha lena… Roz ek litre doodh bhijwaonga!”
Who doesn’t remember this dialogue from Aamir Khan-starrer movie 3 Idiots (2009) that has a miserable engineering student making entreaties to god to help him get through an exam? Well, running to the all-powerful to bail us out of our troubles is what we all do. From praying, promising, offering and even breaking up — humans practice almost everything with god. But after we run out of all these tactics to appease the almighty, that’s when resentment seeps in.
“Whatever happens, we either blame God for it, or pray to Him. But, the truth is that God doesn’t interfere at all in our lives. Whatever happens is because of our own actions,” says management consultant-turned-author Rajiv Grover.
The 44-year-old’s debut book God Won’t Help: Affirmations of the Reluctant God elucidates the same, and is his description of life, as he has seen it “up and close”. “Three years back, I lost my mother to cancer. In fact, when my mother was battling the disease, my father suffered a paralytic attack, and I had to quit my job because it was impossible to go to work while making rounds of the hospital,” says the Delhi-based consultant.
Grover, who is an alumnus of DU’s Faculty of Management Studies, however decided to pen his life experiences after he managed to help one of his friends overcome the loss of his 14-year-old daughter. “This was last year, and it made me think that if I can help one individual then I can also help others facing similar situations… My generation, at least, had a support system in the form of siblings, but today’s generation doesn’t even have that, and is therefore more vulnerable,” he adds.
Within nine months — from when the thought of writing a book first crossed his mind — Grover was ready with the 107-page document on how to live a life positively and brave failures. His book handholds the reader make the shift from the idea that ‘God Won’t Help’ to ‘God Will Help’ by becoming ‘demi-theists’ — a word coined by the author that means not holding God responsible for one’s happiness.
“When we face problems in life, we become so dependent on addictions such as alcohol that we forget to give a chance to the fighting spirit inside us. And the suicidal bouts are very contagious… That’s why I thought of writing a book, even though I never thought I will write one. I’m no author, but I want to help people come out of their depression by sharing my knowledge with them,” he says.
Though quite philosophical, the book’s narrative develops as a fictional tale where the protagonist Shiv (a disillusioned engineer) meets a former US Army Special Forces officer, Candyman and a Pashtun named Nasir. The conversations between these three are jotted in four chapters that flow in a manner that reminds a reader of the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna in the Gita. How much does Grover borrow from the holy text? “I have been an avid reader, and have read the Gita, Upanishads, Osho, teaching of Buddha, and many other texts. But, it’s life that has taught me so much more. If I had to just gather from the Gita, then I would have written a book at 30,” he signs off.
Interact with the author at Twitter/@HennaRakheja