Blurb (as on Amazon):
Ishan Salman Panicker’s father is a Malayali Hindu and his mother is a Catholic tribal woman from Shillong. His maternal grandfather is a Muslim from Bangladesh. Father Joseph Kunnel prophesies a dark future for Ishan. Ishan escapes from the priest and his prophecies and arrives in Delhi with his wife Jenny. Delhi turns out to be a swirling black hole that drives Ishan to write his own gospel.
This novel is, short as it is, a complex work that probes the inevitable mystique and horror of life. The plot spans a whole century. Saints and sinners, Gandhi and Godse, Jesus and Krishna, and a whole range of ordinary people come together to continue the evolution of a 14-billion-year-old black hole.
Genre: Fiction/Religious & Spiritual
Format: Kindle eBook
Price: 99 INR/$2.99
My Rating: 4.2/5
Ishan Salman Panicker is a man of many descents. While his parents are Malayali Hindu and a Catholic tribal woman, respectively; his maternal grandfather was a Bangladeshi Muslim. Ishan escapes from his roots and a foretold dark future, only to realize that there is no escape from history and the black hole of religion dug by men centuries ago.
What I liked about the book:
- It is a well-researched and thought-provoking read, compelling us to look at how the godmen of the country, rather the world, hold powerful sway over the psyche of the citizens.
- It is a brilliant story with a powerful intellect, that stretches over a vast span of time tracing the history of an ashram that gets handed over from one guru to another.
- The story holds a mirror to the ugliness of the society with vices like corruption, religious chauvinism, and several immoral things that are part of our everyday lives.
- Though the book is short, it covers a range of different spheres right from politics to religion, and how the behavior of people in these, affects the majority. It is a short book with many long stories; stories dipped in history about our country and its people.
- The events (and sometimes the people) talked about in the story are real. This makes the setting quite authentic and even more compelling.
- The book presents a dark side of religion, making us question our beliefs and those we believe in.
What I did not like about the book:
- The continuity of the story is complex to follow at times and causes confusion.
-> Every genuine devotee is blessed with generosity to a fault. Genuine devotion is like the ocean. An endless flow. It touches infinity.
-> “What is peace?”
“Absence of conflicts.”
–> A train journey through India will teach you more than any book ever will.
-> Who gives anyone the right to suppose things about others? What is a temptation for one may be penance for another, what is light for you maybe twilight for another person.
-> People learn by themselves. People seek their own levels. One rules; another is ruled. The ruler may become the ruled too.
-> Too much wisdom is likely to be seen as madness by people.
-> The soul’s hunger is infinite.
-> There’s no greatness without some blindness.
-> Culture is a big comedy. A comedy with which the upper classes entertain themselves at the cost of others.
-> God makes no distinctions; Remember one thing though; the rain is holy and the soil is holy, but when they mix there can be slush.
-> The meek may one day inherit the earth, but not the headlines.
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