Book: The Quest of the Sparrows
Author: Kartik Sharma
Bookhad Rating: ❤❤❤❤
Some of us tend to label books with spirituality as their background as preachy and intrusive. I, too, had avoided such books based on this mostly unwarranted prejudice of mine, so I decided to test ‘The Quest of the Sparrows’, against this prejudice, with hopes that it will prove me wrong.
The story begins with a small incident faced by our protagonist, Parthiban, who is shown to be a beaten down man, chased by loan sharks and many such avenues bearing down his back.
He too, much alike me, is shown to have a mental block. His father, a revered saint Parmanand, professes spirituality in its most basic form which Parthiban has denounced as means of escapism from drudgeries of life. The book revolves around his coming of age as the heir to his father and his mental evolution, as he daringly decides to take up his father’s position in an ashram.He undertakes a physically and mentally challenging journey of 600-kilometres devoid of any means of transport and money, to truly test his own faith and the faith of others taking the journey with him.
His test was not about the survival instincts of individuals but about how you can rely on courage and faith, from within and from others. The aim he believed was to find the higher calling which awaits all of human kind. Partibhan himself, undergoes an epiphany where all his old beliefs of material gains are shattered and he accepts that embracing a care-free life of a sparrow is more liberating. He attains what one chapter of the book is rightfully called, ‘ A Vision to See Though the Illusion’.
Through the book one feels that spirit with a group is like a chair with ‘n’ number of legs. Every leg falling apart will impact the balance of the structure, and it is very easy to topple over and fall. However, with collective effort one can rearrange the legs of this chair and still maintain balance, which might even lend to more stability than before.
Partibhan through his journey connects to everyone reading, in a way that does not even begin to seem forceful. I read this book with a prejudice. My brow was crooked, but with each passing page the severity of the frown mellowed down and by the end of it, there was no trace of it. By the end of it, I could connect with all the characters and their short-comings and strengths. The book is interspersed by humorous incidents and a lingering sense of adventure keeps the tempo going.
The best part of the book is that it’s simple, yet very intelligently woven; and the smooth continuity of the story ensures a quick read. It’s refreshing as it breaks the shackles by being a book, not preaching how to get happiness in life, but how to avoid the unpleasantness, which by itself will transcend to joy and peace.
This review was written by our member Aroop Sanyal, who blogs here, and was in response to a request by Kartik Sharma.