An edgy modern-day fable that takes you on a mystical journey with life.
You are from India the land of three hundred and thirty million Gods and you say you dont believe in even one of them? I think its time to go home, Sid. Andreas words have been echoing in my head since last night when she poured another round of scotch. I entered God in the Google search bar and of all the places, it directed me to India a place where I had buried my childhood dream eleven years ago and moved to New York. I waived God away when I got to New York and to be honest, I didnt need Him either. Until now.
Lifes always been a bitch but this time its gone too far. I want my money and my company back and I will find God one way or the other to get my answers. Ive boarded the flight. Hop on and yes, carry some scotch along.
See you on the other side.
Sid: Siddharth Khanna
There aren’t many Indian books in this genre yet, hence the comparisons have adhered to Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. In case you haven’t noticed, this book is a ‘Philosophical/Spiritual’ Fiction. The genre should have been popular considering the vast spiritual resources in India, but it hasn’t. Perhaps because it is quite difficult to write about life in a simple manner. Shraddha Soni has performed the task pretty well in her debut book, I am Life.
Titled simply with a beautiful cover (which explains itself later), the book is set at a slim less-than-200 pages. It might seem an easy read from the blurb and volume, but it isn’t. Shraddha raises questions, provides problems and long-drawn solutions at the climax with an earnest seriousness. The book begins with Siddharth Khanna, a successful businessman from New York suddenly discovering his world upside down with an impending divorce and loss of everything he assumed to own. The beginning is in a casual way that draws the readers’ attention without sounding too heavy.
In the latter chapters, Shraddha merges our lives seamlessly with Sid’s. Before you realize, you would picture yourself in an ashram with Sid trying to finding God. He hops ashrams and we travel with him, waiting till he finds solace instead of God.
Shraddha has a natural flair of writing very well. Her choice of words are optimal, not tending towards too rocky ones from dictionaries. The protagonist Sid’s details are chalked out brick by brick and built into a strong identifiable abode. Each reader would perhaps find a little of them in Sid, in his confusions, frustrations, loveless state, his mistakes and his realizations. I wish the author had cut the monologues into shorter paragraphs or dialogues to reach out to more readers.
This book is perhaps targeted to a little mature readers who wouldn’t shun this genre in totality. I would recommend it to all kinds of readers, to redeem a slice of their lives dumped into mundane garbage.
My Rating: 4/5
About the Author:
Shraddha Soni is born to life. Having been raised in Mumbai with humble yet firm roots, she has breathed life into life with every passing moment: be it joyous, indifferent or otherwise. Bold and a bit of a brat, very little can get past this petite author’s eye. It comes as no wonder then that she has been able to develop a story with so much force and flow that you are barely able to prevent it from taking you with it.
Her life is a tale in its own, call it what you may: romance, adrenaline, entwinement, her tryst with the Higher Power gets stronger with every passing day. How she got here is an answer she certainly knows but would much rather leave you to interpret. However, what she has been able to derive and develop from her personal experiences is truly remarkable and substantial.
Shraddha is known to unlock people before they even know it. She sees through the cloud, and cuts through the jargon with a simplicity you would not expect. She will narrate the blueprint of your life and its purpose like a movie cutting it clear in black and white. She travels through life as much as across cities, spreading her gift through workshops, inspirational talks and one-on-one sessions, all to connect people back to their soul’s journey.
One read of ‘I am Life’ and she convinces you that although a new journey for her has just begun, she is here to stay!
Language: English, Genre: Fiction/Philosophy
Author(s): Shraddha Soni
Publisher: Random House, Year Published: 2013 December
Binding: Paperback, Edition: First, Pages: 192
ISBN-13: 9788184003581, ISBN-10: 8184003587
Reviewed for: Writersmelon
This review is also shared with the Indian Quills Reading Challenge at The Tales Pensieve and the First Reads Challenge at b00kr3vi3ws.