New Straits Times

Checking out of heartbreak hotel

- Meera Murugesan

Dumped — A Journey of Lessons Through Breakups, Mishaps and Misadventu­res Author: AMAL NADIAH GHAZALI PUBLISHER: MPH GROUP PUBLISHING

RELATIONSH­IPS are complicate­d. There’s not a person out there who would disagree that this whole boy-girl or man-woman dating world is problemati­c. It’s either you can’t find someone, you keep finding someone unsuitable, you can’t get him to commit or you can’t get her to stop trying to change you.

It almost makes you wonder why people even bother venturing into this whole game in the first place. After all, the rules are unclear and no matter how hard or well you play, at some point or the other, you may lose.

Amal Nadiah Ghazali addresses all these issues in her debut book, an honest, witty look at relationsh­ips, by a young woman, who by her own admission, got dumped a day before her birthday.

And like many women after a breakup, she takes solace in food, friends and travel. While she does ponder now and then about “The Boy” (read ex), it’s refreshing to note that unlike some women, she doesn’t chronicle her misery in a book.

Instead, this is an account of how she moves on after a painful break-up, the lessons she learnt, the people she met and the places she got to experience postbreak-up.

The book’s title is actually rather misleading. Dumped doesn’t bog one down with the deep and complex process of heartbreak. It’s actually a positive and uplifting read, peppered with the writer’s interestin­g life experience­s and humorous anecdotes and of her adventures, or rather misadventu­res in the often confusing world of dating.

It’s something we can all relate to — the excitement of meeting someone new, the frustratio­n and pain when it ends, the challenge of being single and surrounded by friends who are either hooking up or getting married, and having to put up with well-meaning aunties and uncles who always want to set you up with “someone nice”.

By her own admission, Amal Nadiah is free-spirited and spontaneou­s and a lot of those characteri­stics come through in her writing. With an easy-to-read style and simple, direct approach, the book comes across almost like a journal, somewhat like taking a peek into your best friend’s diary. It’s easy to relate to her adventures and to like and laugh at her quirky observatio­ns, like when during a visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, when she observes that “the magical powers of the pho are equivalent to a tub of ice cream on a night of a break-up”. Well, certainly a healthier post-break-up indulgence anyway.

As she goes through her varied adventures, she slowly comes to the realisatio­n that she hasn’t been thinking that often of “The Boy” anymore. He has gradually been given the slip in her mind and perhaps that is the most powerful lesson this book teaches.

As cliched as it sounds, keeping busy, living life to the fullest and savouring the simple moments are the best ways to overcome a break-up or any misery for that matter. It certainly beats crying yourself to sleep or regaling your friends and family with endless hours of your heartbreak.

In this book, the writer pulls it off by simply moving forward, and living life and embracing what it has to offer. As she points out, we are all living extraordin­arily ordinary lives. We are flawed, we fall down and scrape ourselves but we must get up and move on again.

 ??  ?? The book is a refreshing and uplifting read.
The book is a refreshing and uplifting read.

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