Tuesday, 23 December 2014


That day I had anticipated a lot of traffic en route airport and so we left at 9 am for 12.45 pm flight to Mumbai.

Much to our displeasure (because we would have to wait for more than 2 hours) there was very less traffic that day and we covered the distance of 42kms in just 50 minutes. It wasn't even 10 am! I was also worried about my dad who had had a surgery and was on a wheelchair, the waiting and traveling would be such an ordeal for him.

We made ourselves somewhat comfortable in the waiting area near the boarding gate and much to my delight, right in front of a bookstall. Paulo Coelho has said - "You don't choose your life; it chooses you," I take the liberty of modifying this statement a bit - You don't choose a book, a book chooses you (borrowed this phrase from a friend :) ) Of course we buy a book after reading the synopsis or because it is a bestseller or even because it was suggested by someone...but, some books are just waiting to be picked up. And so I picked up this book from an author whose name I hadn't heard.

From the cover picture I could conclude that it was a motivational book for professionals in the corporate sector. But, the blurb was something else. The author, RamG Vallath was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder that weakened his muscles. This hit me hard in the gut and there was an instant connection. My mother too had suffered from an autoimmune disorder involving muscles - MND. Even though I knew the progression of the disease and what it does to the person affected, I wanted to read his account...his experiences, his struggles and feelings.

The author takes us through the journey of his life talking about his early life and eduction; his dedication and hard work which made him grow immensely professionally; his love life and marriage; about his illness and how he became an author or a motivational speaker.

"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going," is so true of people who have overcome their physical limitations to grow personally.

RamG has not talked much about his illness, citing only the basics and not magnifying his troubles. He has outlined the difficulties he had to face but somewhere I felt it lacked emotion. He has written about his physical short comings as a disabled person but nowhere has he given a glimpse into his fears. I was a bit disappointed here as I wanted to know more about his real feelings.

What is inspirational is the way he bounced back in regaining the control of his health, the limits he set for himself and the way he constantly pushed himself.

I particularly liked his words of wisdom at the end of every chapter...it really brings a smile.

The book has been given 4.8 stars on Goodreads and 4.5 stars on Amazon.

Behind the book:
From Ouch to Oops is a humorous narrative of RamG Vallath's life, a story of how he reinvented himself after being struck down by an incurable autoimmune disorder at the peak of his career.
The disorder starts with tremors in his hands and deterioration of balance, but these conditions worsen rapidly and lead to a weakening of muscles and loss of dexterity in his fingers. His problems are compounded when he is asked to leave his job. His medicines are expensive and rife with side effects. But what is worse, they are mostly ineffective. However, in spite of the odds, he keeps his spirits high, being always the one to keep his team and family in high spirits.
Finally, he enrolls for a clinical trial in the US which can potentially cure him and the treatment is successful. He uses his experiences to create a unique motivational intervention for corporate employees and becomes a successful motivational speaker, consultant and mentor. Three key lessons to take away from RamG's life: no problem is unsolvable always be the provider of cheer and when the going gets tough, the tough get humorous.
A fighter's struggle with an incurable disorder.

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (16 November 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9351368173
  • ISBN-13: 978-9351368175


  1. Wow! I love inspirational books and this book sounds closer home. Seen how such disorders affect people. We need more such tales. And I'm also so glad that Uncle's doing well :)

    1. Hello Sri, yes we need more personal stories such as these. Thanks :)

  2. When the going gets tough, the tough get humorous. Rings a sweet bell. Kudos to the writer.
    And best wishes for your fathers speedy recovery. Take good care of him. Dads are precious.


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