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The struggles of growing up

Reviews
Review By Stephanie Sutcliffe


A Bahrain-based author has released an illustrated novel targeted at teenagers to help support their journey to adulthood. 

Sick of Being Healthy was published by Monisha K Cumbar at the end of August and tells the story of Tara, a teenage girl who is going through the struggles of growing up.

“Like most regular teenagers she has the same issues like academic pressures, self-esteem and complicated online relationships,” explained Ms Cumbar.  

“But she also happens to be madly in love with a handsome stud who unfortunately ends up falling for her much thinner and popular friend. 

“This pushes her into a dark world of extreme dieting and sadly she acquires a food disorder called bulimia. 

“Even then the book is a humorous and light story about how she deals with these problems, overcomes her complexes and emerges a winner in her own way.”

Ms Cumbar, who has lived in Bahrain for 12 years, explained to the GDN that her book is directed at teenagers due to her confidence and skill level when she started out. 

“I thought I could probably get away with simplicity in my language if I wrote from a teenager’s perspective,” said the Indian author.  

“However, it wasn’t as easy as I thought as I had to underplay myself a lot of times and not get too philosophical or descriptive.”

The author described how her idea for Sick of Being Healthy came to her partly due to topics she holds close to her heart, but also because of her teenage daughter. 

“Being on the heavier side myself all my life, the topics of self-confidence and body image were always close to my heart,” said Ms Cumbar. 

“I also have a teenage daughter whom I wanted to tell so many things without being over-bearing and preachy so I thought a book would be a good idea to get my point across, not only to her but also children her age, especially girls.”

She hopes that readers will find the book entertaining, while learning a few things about life – in particular about family, communication, friendships and love. 

“I want to tell all children that you are not what you look like,” said Ms Cumbar. 

“You are what is within you, so don’t give in to what others expect you to be.

“Be yourself and love yourself, because you are truly unique.”

Drawing on inspiration from the Wimpy Kids series, Sick of Being Healthy contains many illustrations throughout the pages, as Ms Cumbar believes that pictures speak louder than words. 

“I have been inclined towards drawing since childhood but could not follow it as a profession,” she told the GDN

The Sick of Being Healthy author has already completed the sequel, which is set for release in a few months upon completion of the illustrations. 

She is also on track to release an adult fiction titled Bahir, which is a story of a woman from Pakistan who seeks a better life abroad and ends up paying a heavy price for being too ambitious and too vulnerable. 

“I am really thankful for the support I have got from this wonderful country Bahrain and hope that readers here will enjoy my upcoming books too,” added Ms Cumbar.

Sick of Being Healthy is available at Jashanmal in City Centre Bahrain and Seef Mall for BD3.600.

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