Why Should I be Good by Shweta Sumit Agarwal | Book Cover
If you grow up in India, there is no way you are stranger to the principle of Karma. We strongly believe that all our actions in this life have consequences – good for good and bad for bad. This simple logic is the base of the series called The Karma Chronicles by Shweta Sumit Agarwal.
|Book Title||:||Why Should I be Good: The Karma Chronicle|
|Author||:||Shweta Sumit Agarwal|
|# of Pages||:||923 KB 34 (Kindle EBook)|
Recently, she provided us a copy of her first installment in this series in an E-book format. we love reading inspirational/morale boosting tales and this short book takes hardly more than an hour to get through, even on a busy day. So, for Team Thinkerviews, I took the opportunity to read it and share my views on it…
Being an entrance to the imaginative world of the author, the book cover plays an important role for the readers to know more about the book and get assistance in deciding whether to go for it or not.
The cover page is beautifully designed to show a man standing outside a cave admiring impressive mountain peaks. It is quite symbolic in a way how one of the main characters ends up in a cave created by his own mind and deeds and needs help from the protagonist to get out into the light again. The coverpage has that feel-good factor and will invite the readers in.
We meet young anthropologist Armaan, as he witnesses a tribal celebration in islands of Andaman. Soon, he is informed about a new entity in the woods who turns out to be an ape who can sing – a Pithecanthropus erectus alive. No one has met a live one before – let alone research one.
Excited at the opportunity, Armaan takes it with no second thoughts. But soon enough, he finds out that ape is chasing him and on a dark night, they have a one-to-one that might turn out very badly for Armaan.
What does the ape-man want from Armaan – is it only to tell a tale that is almost a century old?
Like I said before, it is a morality tale and Andamans is a fitting setting for it. The islands, where things move a bit slowly, while the rest of the world changes too quickly to embrace cultural changes. It makes sense for an Anthropologist to search for our roots in this laid back place.
Although the built-up and Armaan’s character are a bit rough to start with, the author does a very good job of creating the world of early twentieth century in Northern India – especially highlighting the differences in the upbringing of young boys and girls. Here, a boy’s birth is celebrated, a girl’s birth is not. Women are given responsibilities from a very young age and no chance of formal education. Even the fault of men are usually brought to their women’s doors:
You are becoming a woman now, so you should be told this. A woman’s life is endless work and suffering. The quality of life becomes somewhat better if you marry a good man. But, no matter what, always expect to suffer and take upon your husband’s faults on you.
And so the boys who grow up in this environment to become men, also fail to see women as their equal human beings. While the young men have to work hard and shoulder the burden to provide for their families, they see women as only playthings or responsibilities and so it becomes almost inevitable that they assault the women without thinking what they are doing to their combined souls.
Sometimes the wisdom comes too late and only in the after-life when there is nothing but hundreds of years penance left to take them out of this negative spiral they created with their bad karmas.
But the author shows that everyone has a chance of redemption once they understand the cyclic journey of the soul:
It is important for the soul to evolve, to complete its journey and merge with the soul of the Creator. Everything in the universe seemed to have a soul. Plants, animals, even objects, and God loves each soul unconditionally.
The book could have been much better, if the modern characters were given a bit more time on screen. As it is, it is very straightforward to the goal of establishing what was wrong in the treatment of women and that all the wrongs we commit in this world are punished. So, the story achieves its goal, but it has no extended entertainment for a modern reader.
Recommended for all the readers who like their morality tales…
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