Through life’s journey
Published by: Cognite—an Imprint of Embassy Books
Price: INR 250
Death and the afterlife are among the most debated issues, not just today, but forever. Do we go to heaven or hell? Do our loved ones remain in the skies, looking over us? Do they walk among us? What is the journey like? The questions are innumerable, and there are as many answers as there are people. The answers could be religious, spiritual, or philosophical, and there are many tomes which deal with it in detail. Priya Kumar’s latest book deals with the same subject, though in a much simpler, easily readable manner—one that we can all relate to, and actually understand.
I will go with you is a story of 300 passengers and the crew aboard a flight, whose pilot has decided to commit suicide on duty. It might seem, at first glance, to be fatalistic, as well as macabre, but Priya Kumar tells us a story filled with adventure, twists and turns and suspense, intertwined with deep philosophy and as well as discussions on life and death that leads the reader to introspection.
There are 300 passengers on board, but we hear the stories of only those in row 26: Sarah, a writer, struggling to decide whether to trust her boyfriend, or not; Jim, a young man obsessed with technology, who falls in love with Sarah the minute he sets eyes on her; Muttu, a clairvoyant and blogger, the only one who has an inkling of the death that awaits all of them; and Paul, a rich and successful businessman who struggles with questions about life and living in the larger perspective, and who changes his seat from the Business class to join the other three on Row 26 in Economy, thus leading to the conversations which enable him to finally get answers to his questions, albeit at the very end of his life.
In this book, Priya Kumar lives up to her reputation of being a stellar story-teller who has developed a keen knack of inspiring people even as she entertains them. Her wisdom flows through in the dialogues by Muttu, the most evolved character of this story.
This is an intriguing story that combines the heavy questions of life, death and everything in between, in the form of a suspense thriller. The author intersperses the fictional narrative with bits of philosophical thought, making make us stop and think about the situation, and even helps us relate them to our own circumstances. In spite of this, the story doesn’t lose its momentum.
The book is aptly titled for it is indeed a journey of a lifetime—for the passengers of the flight as well as for the reader. After all, every journey of life ends in death.
I especially like the end, because it reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my son, where he said that in his opinion, people who die, don’t really go to heaven or hell. They stay back, unseen, with their loved ones, in the form of memories. Priya’s ending, though not exactly the same, brought back that conversation, and I appreciated how she turned the negative emotions into positive ones, by choosing to let her departed characters turn inspirational—for those they loved, as well as those who needed them.
The genre of ‘inspirational suspense’ is new to me, but this is one book I enjoyed reading!
This was first published in the April 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.