The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

The sequel to The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari might well be a travelogue disguised as a self-help book, but it has its moments

The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari coverPublished by Jaico Publishing House
Pages: 223
Price: INR250
ISBN: 9788184952926

Travel and transform

Being a writer and a voracious reader, regular self-help fare leaves me unimpressed. Therefore, when I began reading Robin Sharma’s latest book, I was sceptical. The temptation to prejudge was huge, but I gently prodded myself to be open. Even then, I was expecting little more than good-natured, well-intentioned advice packaged attractively by a celebrated author.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Sharma’s The Secret Letters…is refreshingly different. For one, it’s not a monologue of self-empowering virtues. For another, the story is set in so many different countries, that by the time I finished reading the book, my knowledge about those countries [and their respective cultures] went up many notches.

Yes, you will meet Julian Mantle, the monk. But he is mostly in the background, while the protagonist is his nephew Jonathan, who is as entwined and engulfed by material success as Julian was before he turned into a monk. Then, one day Jonathan’s mother makes a strange request to him—something he can’t refuse.

What follows is a journey that, albeit extremely strenuous and long, is nevertheless his best. As Jonathan travels from one country to another, he meets wonderful people, each with a story of their own. His task is to collect some rare letters of Julian, along with some powerful talismans. With every new letter and talisman, Jonathan finds himself transforming a little.

Even as he travels, we learn more about Jonathan through his reflection on some key episodes of his life. He is, like most people, enamoured by a hi-flying career, blinded by material success, tortured by relationships, fearful of failure and completely unaware of his own magnificence.

The writing is plain, simple and vivid—occasionally, a little monotonous and verbose. But the places explored and the people met are beautiful. The Secret Letters…is a self-help book disguised as a travelogue—or may be the other way around.

Whichever way you look at it, Sharma takes you along on a powerful outer journey that has the potential for an inner transformation.

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Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri considers himself a student and teacher of the wisdom of love. He is also a writer-editor and has written on topics ranging from strategic marketing and business management to art, culture and even philosophy. His more than 1200 published stories—articles, interviews, full-length features—have appeared in some of the leading newspapers and magazines of India. A certified cognitive behavioural therapist, he works as a personal counsellor too. He is the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed book based on powerful ideas of some of the greatest thought leaders. Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".

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