Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Quest of the Sparrows - Book Review

The Quest of the Sparrows
By Kartik Sharma and Ravi ‘Nirmal’ Sharma
Review By Ila Garg

The Quest of the Sparrows, a novel by Kartik Sharma and Ravi ‘Nirmal’ Sharma, is published by Rupa Publishers. The cover looks apt with a faceless man and silhouettes of sparrows taking their flight. With such an interesting cover, I was sure it would not disappoint me. The subtitle—Explore the joy of freedom—adds to the intrigue.

Kartik Sharma is an investment banker. He is an alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad. His ambition is to create change, to unlock the exceptional potential locked within each one of us and go for the next stage in evolution where it all starts making sense.
Ravi Nirmal Sharma is an Associate Creative Director (concepts and copy) with a reputed multinational agency. Making sense about the business of living is his passion. He believes each one of us is born with a unique talent, which if actuated, contributes to evolution. Life has to be more than a mere journey from birth to death. Not once, but many times, people and circumstances remind us of the inner calling we ignore. Listening to these voices can enrich our life and those of others in touch with us.

The blurb reads as, “A seemingly ordinary young man forced to become a guru takes a leap of faith and sets off with his followers on a taxing journey that changes their mindsets and lives forever. Inspired by the carefree life of a sparrow, reluctant guru Partibhan takes off on a 600 kilometre expedition on foot to test his theory of practical spirituality. He believes that human beings can become powerful creators, but the desire to secure the future makes them mere survivors. However, survival isn’t the only goal of life. A much bigger role, a higher calling awaits us. Will Guru Partibhan and his disciples complete the journey? Will they discover their true potential and find everlasting joy? Looks at the importance of spirituality in today's fast paced world. A must read for all those feeling burnt out and wondering about the ‘higher purpose’ of their lives. The story of a young man who finds his calling in life, written in a relatable manner.

Told from the perspectives of three individuals: Nikhil, Sanjeev and Partibhan, who later becomes Guru Partibhan, The Quest of the Sparrows is an intriguing journey of self-discovery.

Partibhan had a troublesome childhood. He had to look after his sick mother. Subsequently, he took a huge loan for her treatment and went under debts. He was compelled to leave his home by the loan sharks. It was then that his father gave him an option; either take over his ashram and become a guru or keep struggling with the money lenders. Partibhan had to give in and choose to accept becoming a guru. However, this choice actually makes him a better human being. Sanjeev, who is a private detective by profession and is hired to keep an eye on Guru Partibhan, has his set of problems. He was never a believer of divinity but eventually becomes a follower. Nikhil, who lives in London with a highly dysfunctional family, wishes to seek answers for his innumerable troubles. While reading a newspaper, he finds ad with which he relates. It was about an ashram in India and he ends up following Guru Partibhan.

Nikhil and Sanjeev then start on a spiritual journey led by Guru Partibhan, which helps them renounce the worldly pleasures and be like sparrows taking flights of freedom. The lucidity of the story is commendable. The exploration of spirituality in contrast to materialism is artistically done. The language is kept simple and easy to comprehend for the readers. The climax comes in too abruptly.

Who is Nikhil, who is Sanjeev, who is Guru Partibhan, why did he become a Guru, how was the journey to spirituality helpful to them, how materialism is the root cause of 90% of our problems are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in The Quest of the Sparrows.

This 274-page book is a light read, especially during travel it can be a good companion. I wish the authors all the best for their future endeavours.

Ratings: 3.5/5

Buying Link: Amazon

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