Bookish Witch

The Thirteen Year Old Monk by Himanshu Goel

Book blurb:

Ronnie Sharma is one of the most famous actors in Bollywood. Yet there’s something missing in his life, a purpose, an anchor. His life is completely set to change when he meets a 13-year-old monk in the mountains. From him, he learns the way of Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese way of living.

Genre: Fiction/Self-Help & Inspiration

Pages: 18

Format: Kindle eBook

Price: 99 INR/$2.99

My Ratings: 4.5/5

A successful and accomplished actor finds it difficult to sleep at night. Despite having everything that he has ever wanted, he feels that something is missing. To find peace and answers, he sets out to the “The Valley of Silence”, where an unexpected mentor guides him towards true happiness.

This is a very short and simple yet impactful, honest, and powerfully written story.

What I liked about the book:
–> It builds up a strong desire to visit the place described in the story.
–>The story very accurately teaches us that age is just a number and it doesn’t justify one’s wisdom, knowledge, or even caliber.
–> It taught me that striving for perfection is great, but it is equally important to accept the imperfection in oneself as these are what make us human.
–> It rightly points out that we know all our answers and that we just need to discover the correct question.

What I did not like about the book:
–> 99 Rs/$2.99 for a book or 18 pages seems a tad too expensive.
–> I wish it told us more about Ronnie’s life after his visit to “Valley of Silence”
–> The few typos and grammatical errors (which can be easily overlooked but cannot be ignored, especially by vigilant readers)

Quotable quotes:
–>Thousands of people go every week on weekends to escape their daily lives, to enjoy with their friends, families, partners, have a small vacation but there are some who go for a greater purpose. For the kind of folks who seek this illusive purpose, there’s a place in the mountains called “The Valley of Silence.”
–> Perhaps, time and age had changed his habits.
–>The sounds of birds chirping and vibrations of the mountains reminded him where he was, there were few things that could compare to the valley at sunrise.
–>What kind of love doesn’t have its ups and downs.
–>For years, men and women have sought meaning in their lives, a purpose, an anchor, something that makes life worth living. There are those who find their anchor in the passion they have, whether it is art or science, the human potential and talent is boundless when coupled with passion. Then, there are the monks who found their anchor in letting go of the world, to devote their life to mediation. So many outsiders think of meditation when they think of purpose, but it is a mistake, there are many who find meaning in a life of chaos. Then there are those lucky ones who find their purpose in love. They devote their lives to their partners and family.
–>The anchors work in mysterious ways. There are as many anchors in the world as there are types of humans.
–>“It was so much better ten years ago when everyone was not on their phones.” He picked up the phone and tossed it down the valley into the woods. “If you truly want to find your anchor, I need you to give your complete attention.” He said. Despite his child like appearance, there was a hint of anger in his voice. Ronnie simply had no answer, his phone was probably broken and lost in the woods somewhere. But the master was right, without his phone, he was able to focus better, he knew what he was going to carve.
–>It was a job that required immense patience, but he was determined.
–>“We have been observing your life ever since you came here. You have always been someone who strives for perfection. Whatever it is that you do, you always try to accomplish the perfect result. It is this quality of yours, however, which seems to leave you with a lack of purpose.”
->“Wabi Sabi is a Japanese term, a way of life. It is not a passion, or a love, but a way of life that is your anchor. Wabi Sabi is acceptance of imperfection. For years, you have worked so hard to be perfect at what you do, you are unable to accept that a lot of things in life are imperfect. No matter how hard you try and work, you are not satisfied with your work. That is the way of Wabi Sabi. It is not lack of capability or effort but a choice to accept things as they are, with all the imperfections.”

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