Author : Gauri Jayaram
Publisher : Jaico Books
Wise Enough to be Foolish is a fictionalized memoir of Gauri Jayaram that traces the journey of an Indian girl's life, with all its challenges and surprises, as she blossoms from an insecure child into a confident young woman. This roller-coaster ride is filled with adventure, laughter and heartache, as she balances her love life with her struggle for independence.
Gauri Jayaram is behind the world's largest escorted touring company for adventure trips across the continents - The Active Holiday company [Correction : The author is employed with the company, not founded as was my initial impression]. With due respect to the author, i found the story neither extra ordinary nor engrossing. The narrative is brisk and editing by Divya Dubey of Gyaana books is exceptional, but it does not have the zing one would expect in a memoir like this.
One very basic flaw is that it hardly provides point of view of various people in her life. Jayaram nails it when it comes to telling about her own life, citing every small and minute detail but does not do the same when it comes to other characters. So her journey remains unclear, unmotivated and in the end, simply quite boring. I was also disappointed that her actual escalation of founding The Active Holiday Company hardly get any mention which I was most interested in knowing. [Correction : The company was founded in 2013 only]
Even if you disregard the one-tone nature of this story, it is difficult not to cringe at the overwritten lines and trite dialogues. How such an happening life can be converted into a boring novel is a mystery i have no answer to. One the plausible reason is that Jayaram takes pride in leading an independent life in the early 90s which may be difficult, but not impossible. If you have decided on a particular lifestyle and you are hell bent on following it, then you take the pinch with the salt. You cannot complain about it later on seeing/facing the repercussions of your actions.
I am going with 2.5/5 for Gauri Jayaram's 'Wise Enough to be foolish'. It is well written, neatly edited and nicely packaged. But somehow it just fails to touch chord owing to flat tone narrative and bland dialogues. An wasted opportunity!