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Shunya: A Novel Paperback – 29 May 2018
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About the Author
Born Mumtaz Ali in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Sri M is a spiritual guide, social reformer and educationist. He heads The Satsang Foundation.
In 2011, he wrote his memoir, Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography, which became an instant bestseller; the sequel, The Journey Continues, was published in 2017. He is the author of several other books on philosophy, yoga and Indian mysticism. Over the years, his mission has resulted in several initiatives including a number of alternative schools, the Satsang Swasthya Kendra, which provides affordable health care to people through holistic and comprehensive treatments, and the Manav Ekta Mission and Sarva Dharma Kendra, which promote inter-faith harmony.
This is his first novel.
From the Publisher
For well over sixteen years, Sadasivan had to pass the old, abandoned cremation ground at midnight on his way back home from his toddy shop.
He prided himself on the fact that he didn’t believe in ghosts and ghouls and other superstitions and yet, every time he passed the gate of the crematorium, an unknown fear gripped him and his hair stood on end.
That night, too, as he whizzed past the gate on his Royal Enfield motorbike-an upgrade from his old bicycle which he had felt took ages to clear the distance-Sadasivan followed the simple rule he had devised to make things easier: ‘Don’t look in the direction of the crematorium.Go as fast as you can.’
He had almost passed its gate when he distinctly heard a voice calling him out by name. Try as he might, he couldn’t resist the temptation to turn and look. A shiver went up his spine.
A figure clad in white leapt out of the gate and, in the bright light of the solitary street lamp, Sadasivan could see him coming in his direction.
He lost control of his motorbike which hit a protruding flagstone, skid sideways, and sent him flying across the road.
As he picked himself up, he was scared stiff to see the white-robed figure right by his side.
‘Umph! Not bad. No major damage, Sadasiva. Get up and go home. Don’t be frightened. I am not a ghost, ha ha!’
Sadasivan got up, dusted his clothes and picked up the motorbike which had fallen a few metres away. The bike seemed fine except for a dent or two and one broken rear-view mirror. Then he noticed that the skin on both his elbows and his left knee had peeled off. No other damage.
The stranger followed him to the bike.
‘Who the hell are you,’ shouted Sadasivan, angrily, ‘popping up from the cremation ground at midnight like a ghost? Haven’t seen you in these parts and how do you know my name?’
‘Sadasiva, I’ll see you tomorrow at your toddy shop, okay? We’ll talk then. Now go home and take care of yourself. There are no ghosts—go home.’
Sadasivan started his bike and rode home wondering who this crazy man was. He had seen him at close quarters: a single piece of unwashed white mundu was wrapped around his waist with an equally unwashed, loose cotton shirt; he was barefooted and fair-complexioned, with a pointed Ho Chi Minh beard. Who was he? Didn’t Sadasivan notice a bamboo flute in his hand? Where did he spring from? He was certainly not a local and yet he spoke Malayalam. By the time he reached his house his anger had vanished and, for some strange reason, he was looking forward to seeing the stranger the next day.
In ten minutes he was home. His wife was shocked to see him injured. ‘Fell off the bike,’ he said and while she washed and dressed the wounds and served him dinner, he told her the story of the night’s adventure. ‘Very odd man, Bhavani,’ he told her. ‘Said he’ll see me at the toddy shop tomorrow. And, for some mysterious reason, I am looking forward to seeing him.’
‘Be careful,’ said Bhavani after she’d had her dinner and they’d retired to the bedroom. ‘Maybe he’s a madman.’
‘How can a madman know my name?’ asked Sadasivan as he was falling asleep. He had taken a paracetamol and as the pain of his bruises slowly ebbed, sleep the ultimate reliever took over.
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I would prefer learning from you how to overcome illusion, not to indulge in illusion. Kindly guide in your next book. Thank you.
I would request sincer seeker's to please read
SILENCE OF THE HEART :
By- Robert Adams.
I would even recommend the book to
Only thing missing is a chapter with intense description of the Toddy Shop and its background as introducing it as an epic center and core of different dimensions of a typical village. Keralite readers can easily connect to where he planted the story background and the essessence characters but others may miss the spicy side of a Kallu Shap!!!
More than a Novel, it is a material for a grand intense movie and I am sure somebody will see that possibility and work on it. That way it will get into the mass media to enjoy a plot like this.
I personally think Shunya is a mix of himself and his great master Maheswar Nath Babaji and the plot is handpicked by him from his experience of incidents. Khader is a classic example of that!! Still he says it is a fiction, but somewhere he admitted that all fictions has a reality tint.
Really enjoyed his work and waiting for the Yogini in Jeans!
It's such a great and touching book, i actually thought that i am watching a great movie that depicts the multifaceted and unusual life of a great and obscure master!!
I simply don't know why some of the readers disliked this book, or what were their expectations(are they really real). Sri M in one of his latest interviews said that this is the very first book and not the latest one, he wrote many years back, but for some reason or the other couldn't muster up enough courage to send it to a publishing house.
Until now, when he finally sent it and the publishers instantly agreed to launch it in the market!!... From all this, he said, he learnt a lesson that 'never ever give up, come what may'. Please do yourself a favour and read it, forget spirituality or any other thing, just read and you will get addicted instantly!!.. stay blessed..
It is difficult to put in spiritual truths n life lessons as part of a fiction but also the advantage is that it being a fictional work the author can make use of creative liberties. This book is a good balance of both.
I really liked how some of the esoteric concepts were just woven into the narrative without it being too much on face or very preachy.
I do recommend this work to people who are open to read a fictional work with an underlying spiritual theme. I surely would be rereading it at a later date bcos I have a feeling that this book will convey different meanings based on the stage of life one is in.
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