Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
We firmly believe in this saying, by all means. And that’s why, like exercise has to be done properly, the posture of the body, the time of exercise, the body type, age and many other factors needs to be considered; in reading also, the choice of genre, quality of writing and other such factors must be considered. Reading something crap actually result into adverse effects.
This Is Here In For You
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So, we love reading books with a substance. And thus, we are quite enthusiastic to read books by Manoj V. Jain, who is primarily a businessman and writing is his passion.
Here are some quick links to our interaction with him and his books :).
- Dystopia | A Thoughtful Book About Parenting
- A Man From Mandu | A Book About Self Realization
- Balraj By Manoj V Jain | Book Review
- Ramona | A Book By Manoj V Jain | Personal Review
- An Interesting Author Interview With Manoj V. Jain
Adding to the list is his latest book Meeting Yama. It was released in November 2020 and the author was kind enough to send us the review copy. We, however, having a long queue, got a chance to read it after a few months of its receipt.
|Manoj V Jain
|Notion Press (4 November 2020)
|# of Pages
1503 KB; 258 (Kindle EBook)
|# of Chapters
Let us take a look at the cover page of this book.
While the cover page should never be considered as the sole medium to judge a book, more often than not, it influences a large number of reading decisions for sure.
It is definitely a challenging task to design the cover page of a book focused on spirituality and self-exploration. However, it is comparatively easy for this book. As from the title of the book itself you come to know that it is about a person’s meeting with “Yama”- the lord of death. The popular illustration of Yama for all of us is that he rides on his male buffalo and wears the “crown with horns”.
The designer tried using the same concept but with a little twist. You see an illustration of a face of a male (who looks quite young) having horns! The light yellowish background helps this black illustration stand out. The title of the book is in red color that represents danger (meeting Yama – even this thoughts occurs when the life is in danger).
Overall, a simple cover page that is faithful to the story.
The Book And What We Think Of It:
Usually, we share a bird’s eye view of the story and our views and reviews for the same in two distinguished segments. The plot of the book is a little different and thus I proposed our team to merge both the segments and it is approved.
Spread over in 8 chapters, “Meeting Yama” explores the stories of Amrit, Surya and Rajat, their respective families and the people they are associated with. They have different backgrounds, different family and social setup and different philosophies of life. Eventually, they all meet in Varanasi (also known as Kashi or Banaras) – the city of Lord Shiva. By the way, Kashi is considered as the most ancient city still in existence and thus is prominent not only for Hindus but the entire humankind.
Over the course of the story you meet Bharat, Gagan, Penaz, Ranjana, Leena, Damyanti, Jaideep, Samira, Tushar, Tapan, Nayana, Dr. Mehrotra, Mrinalini, Prabod, Mukul, Sunil, Rajbir, and others; in addition to the 3 fellow we mentioned earlier.
I found the book worth reading for various reasons, and one of them is the realistic exploration of the social canvas and human relations. And the author just doesn’t stick to ideal relations only. For example, Damyanti’s cold and prejudiced behavior with her in-laws is simply heart-breaking. It feels sad to see how her behavior resulted into breaking the bond of love amongst the couple also.
At the same time, you will find a mother-in-law in the book who, rather than trying to guide/teach or convert the way of her living according to her way of life, suggests her daughter-in-law to explore her life as per her beliefs. Here are a couple of quotes from that context:
And that is why I will not teach you the recipes of his childhood. For he does not need another mother, he already has me. He needs a wife and he has you.
It is a wise woman who keeps her husband and familly all well-knit together. Our husbands are busy doctors and they do not have time for petty matters of the household, so it is up to us to keep harmony in the house.
Same way, there is a young boy who watches his father scolding his mother regularly and imagines being a warrior saving a princess in distress from an evil (here evil=father, princess=mother). Also, the way it affects the psyche of a growing up kid is elaborated in small yet meaningful passage.
… The sight of soda bottles with ice and lemon next to them would forever make me a tad uncomfortable event in later adult years.
And, at the same time there is a wise person advises the other that:
Children behave toward the father as they see their mothers do. So, be careful how your child perceives the relationship between you and Rajat for he or she will emulate you subconsciously.
The book has some interesting one liners that hold wisdom and philosophy within. Here are some of them.
… no one could make one feel little without their consent…
… for beauty is the light in the heart …
The author is good at exploring his character’s mood and situation of a particular scene without using too many words. For example:
A young air hostess greeted him courteously and he smiled absentmindedly.
And as the substance of the book is philosophy of life (that includes death, of course), it is obvious to find philosophical lines in the book like this one:
What is the body after life has left it? What does it matter to the body how it is disposed of? It is a liability that needs to be got rid of as quickly as possible.
Another important attribute of the book is exploration of holy places including but not limited to Varanasi. Varanasi is nothing less than a character in this book. The way the people live there, the ghats, the different ways of the last rites of a human being, how people come there seeking the blessings of Shiva, and get free from the cycle of birth and death.
At the same time, the author doesn’t let the chance to compare it with the city life and some let-downs of this holy place also. For example:
The boy behind the desk smiled again, unhurriedly rose to check a folio, and then attended a call, with no sign of speeding up. Rajat knew that he needed to be clm; he had been in Varanasi for a day on work and had realized that Einstein had got it right, time was relative, and it definitely seemed to move slower in this city.
The author focuses on emotions and mental world of a person more than the material stuff. He rightly elaborates that not only material stuff brings joy and happiness, but it is the inner peace and how you are happy with each other when living together, matters the most.
They had a simple life, with no excesses, but it was comfortable and happy…
And, I myself has experienced this in many families.
If I have to choose only one quote form the book, I will settle for this correct definition of relations (that are slowly but steadily converting into more of a mutual “give and take” bonds these days.
In a family, it’s not about who contributes and who consumes.
The exploration of various spiritual literature, the story of Yama and other deities, the exploration of the world of spirits, souls and dreams,… the list of factors you would love to explore in this book is quite long.
Of course, some of the readers may find it a little heavy book, but, being fall in “self-realization” zoner, it is expected to be so. You will also find words like “aarthi” instead of “aarti” influenced by some regional linguistics.
It is a thought-provoking book that is worth reading. If meaningful reading is what you seek, you should go for it. And, more importantly, it’s kindle edition is available for just Rs. 29 only when I am writing this :).
Around 8 stars out of 10.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy – Meeting Yama By Manoj V Jain – Paperback – Amazon India
- Buy – Meeting Yama By Manoj V Jain – Kindle Ebook – Amazon India
- Buy – Meeting Yama By Manoj V Jain – Paperback – Amazon US
- Buy – Meeting Yama By Manoj V Jain – Kindle Ebook – Amazon US
Over To You:
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