Sunday, October 16, 2016

Book Review: The MONK Key - Songs of the Mist by Shashi - A Perfect Bowl of Happiness

 Sometimes, you get to read a book, not because of the content, but because the author is well-known, or personally known to you or just to experiment with a different genre.   I also started to read Shashi's book -  Book 1, The Monk Key - Songs of the Mist just because he is my blogger-friend and secondly, I got the book as a prize for one of my blog post.   Interestingly. the first few chapters changed my perspective.   From being a compulsive reader of this book, to one who enjoyed few things for sure, traveled through the journey of the book and its characters and places with ease and decorum.   It was a like a fresh morning filter coffee - One word - Refreshing!

At one point, I slowed down a lot, for I wanted to enjoy the lines and re-read few line again and again.  The wisdom of Srimad Bhagat Geetha touched me in every chapter deeply.  It was like of reading a summary of the great epic poem.   what more, I took lot many days to keep reading few chapters and trying to understand the characters deeply.   My one journey gave me ample time to complete the book finally...this time for 5 hours not putting down it except for few mandatory intervals.   Simply, the book is a classic and of a class of its own.  Good job Shashi!

'In Eternity
We live...Came from.  Life is one
Series of footprints'

These words in the very first page of the book finds it magnanimous answer in the last chapter.  I felt like referring back and forth to the dates and each person to relate.  I felt that this was a very interesting way of making the reader weave the web of passion, love, emotion and indulge in this journey of himalayas.   It is a mixture of science, deep spirituality, divinity within, strong human emotions of love, sex, anger, betrayal, loss, death,  passion, serenity and calmness and peace.  In Shasi's words, it is a collective human and scientific endeavor.

Ashutosh, Ayan, Monk, the priest, Vasudha, Yogini Ashika, Calliope, and above all the wild wonder woman Kyaka...I loved this particular character for its simple natural beauty.

'We are closer to the reality, in the nature of love than the science of nature....''  Only Shashi can think of this.    The divine song takes you to the free flow of words, absolutely interwoven with nature, your inner self and the outer materialized world.    Shashi proves to be an amazing spiritual writer touching upon human multi dimensional aspects

Few lines that touched my heart and thoughts...that I would love to have them here, so that I can refreshingly look at it when ever needed.

Shashi...these for sure, would become your quotes in the long run.

1.  When the living gets unburdened with needs and desires, the life becomes simple and easy to carry

2.  "  Never worry about the path, just take care of the steps that you take " true...each step makes the journey an awesome path.    Live by the moment.....

3.  It is all there in the nature , outside and within, a continuous transformation.-   Call this mantra of life, or trying to identify our own self.  Shashi touches up on the fact that it is what you are and what you can make it out of this life...the cosmic energy inside you...for you to survive and drive this universe.

4.   What a beautiful way to describe death...a good definition from the author.....'Death is not the destruction of the body or the flowing stream, but the merging of your dreams, desires, sorrow,  and anger into an eternal calm ....a deep sigh that echoes an eternal calm of eternity, O Ganga! That is OM.

This book touches upon the great Himalayan journey, it takes you to amazing peaks of Himalayas, the snow, the silence, the tribal villages, the thick dense forests, the deeper wilderness, the rocky paths of travel, the beautiful and serene sounds of Varanasi, the amazing Ganges and the power of its simplicity and spirit.   What else do you want than loving what you have

5.  She is within you, Find Her!  --    Simple yet powerful line.   Be it atma, the soul, the surge, the thought, the body, the pain, the love, the ecstasy, the is all within you.   'Find me in Rishikesh' is not finding someone but finding yourself in a place that gives you all the chances to discover nothing but your own self.

6.  Sense of purpose and knowledge too Son, if you would only listen to the words within you. 
Many times, in our eagerness to please this world, and in the chase of wild goose, we forget and fail to listen to the voices within., hence we end up stressful and distressed with this life.  

7.  If you dont want to be disturbed, then do not be a disturbance.   It's far easier to flow with the flow than to the swim against the river's current

8.  Mind is always scared live in NOW.   For that the reasons, that are in the future, like death.  But dying is inevitable?

Our life is lived in the moments of now rather than in memories of the past or worries of future.  
9.  People who are going far need less baggage and it to me it looks like you are holding more than you can carry

Reading this line, I felt like the author has written this to tell me something.   I could feel as if the advice was given to me directly and I need to understand this more.   The baggage of the past is the most painful and heavy of all.

10.  The attachment to one's own body is the most deep rooted possessiveness that creates the fear in the form of beliefs, hopes and temples of God.

We are all so selfish in this journey of life, that we forget that this body has an expiry date no matter what.  Irrespective of our want and desire, this body will one day detach itself from this world leaving behind everything....letting the soul fly back to its non-captive mode.

 Kala (death) is the most powerful fear, that is synonymous to time, that too, another of the great equalizers

 The Unity of body, soul is untouched and undisturbed by anything that this body does.  

 The experience of the author is reflected in the words and its deep sense of responsibility towards its rights.  At one point I felt that this is a solid summary of the great epic poem.   There were pages, where tears flowed without my knowledge, for it did not describe any tragedy, but touched a deep emotions what so ever, without knowing and probably, that is the beauty of this book.  In Bhagavat Gita, you will find answers to everything in this life.  Similarly, this book gathers the key essence of life.  

Each one of us, take time to write what we think.   I am sure Shashi spent quite an amount of thoughts and year in making of this book.   This shows the efforts and thoughts of a great author around us.   I am now waiting for the next book in this series now.  The beauty of Kyaka, the boat rides, the love in the wilderness,  the tribal village, the statue of Maa Kali and the devotee,  captured so well to give you a feel of completeness.   There is so  much of spiritual depth in the writer's voice that if you have the courage to take it, it is the best medicine for the current day melodrama.   You need strong sense of understanding for that language is of richness and the words touch you from Bhagavat Geeta in every page you turn.   Once you get to understand that flow of the book, you will enjoy the same like I did.  

I am going to read this book again, and probably again and again, as time permits.  To me it is rarity but this gives me simple sense of belonging.  I am not writing this because the author happens to be a friend but because this book is   "A perfect bowl of happiness"

Dear Shashi,

Kudos to you Shashi.  Great work and wonderful effort.  Keep it coming on our way and we as your readers are awaiting for the next book sooner.  Thank you for this one.   Your book touched my life in its simple way and strong messages.   Thank you and God bless you


1 comment:

Shashi S said...

Thank you Umasree for such a lovely review. I am happy that you could relate to it.
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya