Book Review: Jasmine Builds on Shifting Sands by Sanjay Desai

Thursday, February 18, 2021 Vishaal 0 Comments


Title: Jasmine Builds On Shifting Sands

Language: English
Author: Sanjay Desai
Genre: Personal Development & Self-Help; Contemporary fiction
Publisher:  ConsciousLeap Insights Private Limited
ISBN-10:  8194917204
ISBN-13: 978-8194917205
Binding: Paperback
Price: Rs. 238 (Buy from Amazon)
Pages: 160

My Review:

I lost my father a few days after receiving this book and almost did not read this book and would not have reviewed this. Unlike most self-help books, this one has a story, fictional, but inspirational. It is a two part narrative of intertwined and inter-weaved through the thoughts of the author's spiritual guru in the Himalayas. 

This book is a little slow to pick up. (Probably my state of mind also affected my ability to read it). Once the story begins (after a rather long prologue), it is quite endearing. The story of Jasmine is interspersed with QR codes and Links to some self help exercises and workshops that genuinely help put things in perspective. These are called micro-learnings by the author. While, I for one do not like to break my train of thoughts while reading, I followed the author's request to pause and do the exercise. I did like the first one at the end of Chapter 4, but skipped the rest as I prefer reading books without breaks.

I believe the author genuinely wants us to improve our lives and identify with our goals so that we can achieve what we set out to do.

The author's learnings from his guru make the story of Jasmine very interesting and endearing.

Jasmine the protagonist is like any other Indian. The story will surely resonate with each of us because of her dreams and yearnings which are so similar to yours and mine and every Indian who calls themselves middle-class.

Jasmine Builds On Shifting Sands, is a unique take on how to approach the ups and downs of our lives. It also talks about the need to change with our changing conditions and introspect on our actions that led us to where we stand today. The conversations are so simple and written in very easy to read language without jargons.

There are a few grammatical errors and also some content that could have been left out. The author comes across as a genuine person with his own self-doubts that he conquered with the help of his spiritual guru - Ma Krishnanangiri to whom he has dedicated this novel.

Overall this book is a good read, though could have cut a few things to make it much crisper. (The author does warn us that it is not necessary to read the prologue/epilogue, but I read it nevertheless due to force of habit). 

Positives: Very easy to read, a passionate narrative and an everyday story.

Negatives: The story could have been crisper.

Who will enjoy this? Those having second thoughts on their life path and choices.

Buy or Don’t Buy? Do buy. Do not be fooled by the category this book is placed in. It is a good novel with a self-help component, expertly weaved into it.  “When our actions are not out of no-mind state, the mind comes into the action, leaving its impression, which will include intent, as well as subconscious factors like doubt, fear, and whatever else” (You can buy from Amazon)


Integrated with hybrid multimedia learning tools, Jasmine Builds on Shifting Sands is a unique self-help fiction offering. Its captivating narrative ties two seemingly distinct tales in an intertwined journey that explores the manifestation of dreams. At the center of the book is Jasmine’s journey of making it as a successful model in the cut-throat world of fashion. Her tale of victory and failure is enveloped within the master narrative of Sanjay, an erudite knowledge-seeker who meets his spiritual guru- Ma. Set between the esoteric location of the Himalayas and the urban bustle of Mumbai, the book offers an enhanced learning experience which is further amplified through the embedded micro-learning content that is interspersed throughout the text, making for a truly immersive experience.