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5 Inspiring Reasons Why “Eat Pray Love” Is A Movie I Will Always Remember

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By Parvathi Jayakumar:

Eat Pray Love is break-up therapy, travelogue and a soul-stirring memoir all rolled into one by American author Elizabeth (Liz) Gilbert. The book is the true life account of a year in the author’s life when she emerges from a devastating marriage, followed by a passionate love affair which goes up in smoke, followed by her decision to embark on a quest to put together her broken self by travelling to 3 different places: Italy, India and Indonesia.

EPL11. Candid account of her heartbreak and how she overcame the same
The book puts forth a heart wrenching image of the pain, agony and depression suffered by Liz. It connects with a million readers who have been through the same angst of a soul-shattering heartbreak, moves them to tears, makes them empathize with her and ultimately inspires people to come out stronger from their experience. She beautifully narrates the mental effort, the hard work and the time that she takes to pull herself together and tells the reader there is still hope. She encourages people to believe that there is always a happy, ‘riding into the sunset together’ ending for every story. And this connection that she developed with the readers through her narration is the reason why the book remained on The New York Times Bestseller List for 187 weeks straight!

2. Spirituality cast in a whole new light
Her extremely compelling and engaging description of the spirituality that she finds in an Indian ashram would move even the most cynical of readers to pause and ponder over the same. Also, for the uninitiated, she has sublimely presented the idea of Rudraksha mala of 108 prayer beads. Her intelligence is displayed by the fact that while talking of spirituality; she takes into account atheism as well and comes to terms with its arguments. Also, she has given a clear insight into the gruelling meditation practices and yogic kriyas undertaken by the practitioners to attain Nirvana or the transcendent state.

3. A travelogue to reckon with
Liz has done justice to all the three places she has visited, in her account. Starting from Italy, where she takes the reader through mozzarella cheese, delectable pizzas, romantic avenues and some fluent Italian, she smoothly rolls over to India where ashrams and asceticism rule the roost and then flies over to Indonesia whose herbs, strange but warm people and natural beauty charm the reader into falling headfirst for them.

4. The prose has a charm of its own
Her writing is wry, humorous, intelligent and self-deprecating, all in the right proportions! Not once does she lose the beat, miss the connection with the reader or fail to engage them. The reader sees, feels and enjoys her day-dreams, walks along with her as she fantasizes about the 25-year-old cute Italian male sitting across from her, pities her guilt when she gobbles down pizzas and feels her waist swell, sympathizes with her struggle when she tries to attain the transcendent state and ultimately have butterflies in their tummies as she finds some good natured, sexy love in the heart of Bali.

5. Riveting and intriguing characters
Since this is a real life account, all the people that she has described in the book are also real people and hence easier to feel admiration for. Every character, starting from Giovanni to Richard to Ketut Liyer, is in a different league, brings something new to the table from their myriad life experiences and prompts the reader to think in one or the other way through their wise and witty dialogues. These characters move the reader to put aside their conventional train of thought and embrace the variety of life.

Highly recommended for those who have suffered heartbreak, and for those who haven’t!

You must be to comment.
  1. Gaurav Sobti

    Then you’ve got to watch this TED talk, Parvathi: . She is the real thing.

    1. Parvathi Jayakumar

      Hey Gaurav, I have seen ths Ted talk before. 🙂

  2. nansank

    The movie wasn’t as good though! 🙁 Btw, I haven’t read the book.This definitely makes me want to read it 🙂

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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