International Council for Education, Research and Training

Preety Shenoy’s ‘Life is What You Make it’: A Metaphysics of Disillusioned and Dreadful Trajectory of Life

Azhar, Darkhasha
Assistant Professor in English, Govt. P. G. College, Bisalpur, Pilibhit, UP.


Among the clutch of contemporary writers, Preeti Shenoy’s name is undoubtedly ranked among the top five bestselling gutsy authors. The reason of her quick fame is the choice of topics that resonate with the present mental trauma encountered by the youth of current India. Due to her familiar themes, she has become one of the most acclaimed and distinguished celebrity. Her novels, quite distinct in themes, have been making good business due to their remarkably simple yet appealing style. Her characters resonate with those whom the readers encounter in their dayto-day activities. This compatibility enables them to swing and sway with the characters and relive their lives. Her novel ‘Life is What You Make it’ is well spun and rightly woven with a discrete theme- ‘bipolar disorder’. Its setting is the India of 1990s, the era when the life was not so complicated and stressed as it is now. The protagonist of the novel is Ankita Sharma, a simple girl with not so high dreams, through whom the author has depicted the ebb and flow of life. Ankita is an immature young girl in her 20s who faces a plethora of ups and downs. This condition is mainly due to her infatuation. The sojourn of her mental trauma begins with the suicide of Abhishek as she feels herself responsible for it. The guilt conscious is so strong that she experiences mental breakdown and henceforth nothing remains for her as normal as it was earlier. The swing between illusion and reality is so swift that she herself is puzzled and everything goes berserk. The paper strives to peep into the roller coaster life of the protagonist to not only purge out her fluctuating mental dilemma but also portray the contemptible trajectory of her life post suicide attempt. It also tends to highlight the fact that suicide cannot be a solution to any problem. The paper aims to fetch home the notion that with a strong grit and right medication any mental disorder can be cured. Ultimately, saving a life is what matters. 

Keywords– Resonate, compatibility, spun, immature, sojourn, plethora, breakdown, dilemma.

Impact statement

Life is what you make it, the title of the novel by Shenoy, sounds like a proverb or a signaled warning to a teenager setting her foot in to the roller coaster world of adults. The novel is based on the life of a girl in her twenties. She is like any girl, lively and full of dreams. She yearns to attain extreme success in a sweep and have a glamorous life too. She, in the course of her journey, makes certain choices that lead her towards a distressed life and paranoia. She attempts suicides owing to the unexpected complex situation in her life. The story ends on a positive note that no disease is incurable and ultimately, it is the inner strength of a person that finally wins a secure place in the society. 

About Author

Dr. Darkhasha Azhar is serving in Govt. P. G. College, Bisalpur, Pilibhit (UP) as Senior Faculty of English. She has studied in colleges affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University and MJP Rohilkhand University. She has done her MPhil on the topic ‘Social Concerns in the Novels of Mulkraj Anand’ and her PhD on the topic ‘Arundhati Roy as a Novelist and Social Activist: An Assessment.’ Her main areas of interest include ‘Contemporary Indian English Fiction, New Literatures, Translation and Comparative Studies’. She has to her credit eight dissertations. She has five chapters and sixteen research papers published in books and various national and international literary journals. She has also published six books. She is fond of composing poems in Urdu and framing short stories, as well. She has been actively participating in conferences and initiating various academic fiestas.  She has recently been awarded for her untiring efforts towards the implementation of NEP-2020 by MJPR University, Bareilly (UP) and received ‘Global Women Icon Award-2023’ by the core committee ICERT in collaboration with Debre Tabor University, Ethiopia on the occasion of UN International Women’s Day (IWD 2023) on March 08, 2023. 

  • Dickinson, Emily, (1999). ‘Hope is a Thing with Feathers’. Ed. R. W. Franklin, Harvard University Press. (Print)
  • bipolar disorder- NIHM. Retrieved 29th Feb’ 23. (Web)
  • Krishnakumar, Anupama, (2011).  Life Is What You Make ItAn Interview with Preeti Shenoy.’ Spark Editors, 5th  Aug. (Web)
  • Shenoy, Preeti, (2011). ‘Life is what you make it’. New Delhi: Srishti Publishers & Distributors. (Print)
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