Sunday, October 9, 2016

Book review: The Calling



Details
Title: The Calling
Author: Priya Kumar (Motivational Speaker, Author)
Genre: Philosophy
Web site: http://priya-kumar.com/

Background
While I was busy with dodging numerous issues in corporate about a month ago, I was approached by the author to review this book. While Indian authors by far did not play a very convincing game, this book was the turning point in my perception of Indian authors after I have reviewed a 2 books by Ravi Subramanian(which was the entry point and which convinced me to a great extent).

Plot:
Arjun is a corporate employee who is trapped in a vortex of confusions in personal and professional life. Due to the imbalance he creates for better growth in corporate, he was on the brink of a divorce with his wife who was hardworking and smart. Arjun came accross as a person who had common traits like jealousy, pulling others down for one's own growth in his workplace which did make him successful there but always kept the greed  unsatiated and craving for even more. This greed led him to do a lot of unjust things at home and office costing his relationships dearly.

To get out of this confusion and trouble, Arjun took a trip into the heart of Himalayas, on insistence of a Sadhu who predicted that the journey up to Hemkund Sahib would align him to his purpose and change his life forever.

The plot is all about how Arjun realises his true purpose of his life. The way the mysterious sadhu whom he encounters in his journey plays a vital role by making him self-realise by his own actions.


My verdict:
     "Real sophistication lies in utmost simplicity".
 While reading the whole book;the above quote struck my mind regularly. The language and vocabulary is balanced and a smooth read.  The author has conveyed the message so lucidly while managing to keep the reader engrossed in the plot. While going to Himalaya's has now become the talk of IT-town, there wasn't much of a exciting experience I was looking forward to. This lack of excitement can be attributed to my inability to go there and experience the beauty of those mountains. My perspective hence changed after reading this book as I was beginning to relate to everything written there.
  
Some points and quotes have been wonderfully put down:

You respond to your name and therefore you limit your responsibility(on being nameless and not limiting responsibility according to name/title)
If  you dont know the people in your world, they will be a liability in your purpose(on knowing the purpose of each person in life so that their relationship is not a load to carry on your shoulders)

We need to ponder on the above lines; in this hustle bustle we have actually forgotten the basics or rather kept our mind shut to these thoughts.The second quote is regarding a person who the protagonist(Arjun) thinks just as a guide and never discovers his strengths and looks him down for his profession.

The description of the two tests given by the sadhu is really commendable and reflects the human tendency to copy himself/herself others if the situations are similar. Arjun fails in the first test and after knowing the way to pass it, tries to copy the same strategy in the second one. Will the same strategy give him success?(I was remembering my University exams where there were repeat questions which helped us somehow pass but never score a distinction).
Through the tests, the author primarily wanted to highlight that we humans yield under pressure and fail to perform as per expectations. The only thing in Arjun's mind during the sadhu's test was avoiding sitting on the rock which Sadhu was seated on for Sadhana. This fear never really got the best of him but finally he got the message loud and clear.


Suggestion:

I only felt that the mess Arjun was in could have been elaborated a bit more on as it was something which most of us in corporate experience. If his problems could have had a greater mention, it would have been much of a read knowing the exact background.

Final word:

I would give it a 4.5/5 as it has broadened my perspectives while not being too boring to read.
Keep up the good work Priya (Paulo Coelho of India I would say), the positivity in the book just cannot be ignored!