Some books can be reviewed. Some cannot… Personally, I feel that few special categories of books go beyond review. They tickle the cord somewhere deep inside your conscience which disarms your ability of judging them. Your thoughts, your philosophies, your beliefs are put at question and you are unable to comprehend the whirlpool of emotions which kick starts a brainstorm. The idea of equality, social justice, religion, faith and almost everything which makes humans a social animal is questioned and evaluated.
The Monk by AkshayShroff is one such book which is beyond review. The blurb of the book clearly indicates writing such a book demands guts and the author's profile certifies it. Akshay Shroff has been a successful advertising sales consultant of domestic and international media, spanning over three decades, first in New Delhi followed by Mumbai. He has been associated with voluntary organizations like the Lions and the Junior Chamber International in senior positions and also with trade bodies like the Delhi Advertising Club and the Press Club of India.
Akshay Shroff is a family man and a normal family man of India avoids talking about sensitive issues. And this man, let alone talking, has actually written a book on the very most sensitive issue of our country. Why Sir? You decided to play a dance tune to the cobra with the poison glands?Salutations!. It is not the Mulk Raj Anand style of his writing which captures your thoughts but it is the guts displayed in creating such a wonderful plot. A story woven around country, religion, citizens, terrorism, call of duty and love demands immense research and delicate treatment.
AkshayShroff has provided no less than that. The background story of historical incidents which induced terrorism in our country has been given at appropriate junctures. I couldn't help marveling at the artistic prowess of Mr.Shroff at handling of such delicate stuff. He keeps everything in equilibrium. He creates a shell for himself as a narrator and keeps himself aside from the story. He lets the readers feel the story and live it with the characters. The backdrop of Indian Police is enough to instill the faith back in our Police Department.
Talking about characters, Lakshya, the protagonist, is certainly the gem of a man. He deserves to be the hero of a normal Indian citizen who wants to live with peace and harmony. He has, rightfully, shadowed the whole book. As a kid, as a teenager and as a grown up man, he grabs the attentions naturally. And not only Lakshya, but every character of this book turns out to be as emphatic as they are meant to be. The dialogues and the sub-scenes of the book convert the readers into spectators and leaves them into that very time-frame to witness all the happenings. What sort of narration could be livelier?.
After reading this book, I found myself lost and elated simultaneously. I was lost in the content of the book and elated by the positivity it created. I wonder how we cherish our comfort and play the blame game. There is always a government and their predecessors to put all the offence on. Where do we stand as a citizen? What we are doing on our part for the country? What is the root cause of terrorism? Why has religion reached a level of extreme? What can we do to prevent the man slaughter in the name of religion?
The book leaves a lot of questions to ponder upon. The Monk by AkshayShroff isn't a regular book. I believe it is a must read for every person who has slightest of the concerns for the country and our society. Mr.Shroff has provided a lot for the readers given his vast experience. As I stated earlier,The Monk is a book which cannot be reviewed. It helps you to introspect and consider your position as a silent spectator. I expect many more reading experiences from this amazing author.