Immortal India – Amish

Amish begins his first non-fiction book by quoting a poetry by Allama Iqbal (translated):
Greek, Egyptian and Romans all vanished from this world, but we are still here,
There must be something special in us,
That we have not been erased from existence,
For the whole world has been against us for centuries.

Amish has picked some of his articles and speeches for this book. They are classified into History, Religion, Social Issues, Mythology (much expected!) and his Musings. He never fails to give a whole new perspective, this time on the issues bothering India at the moment. Be it on Caste-ism, Religious Violence or Corruption, he compels to take a step back and look at these issue in a simplistic, deeper way.

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I am quoting some of my favorite lines from the book:

First one being, his take on ‘Faith’:
When Amish was asked “At what stage does Mythology become Faith?”, his startling answer was “when you stop questioning!”. How true!

Another is from “Why I write”, where he talks about his motivation for writing. He recalls something his mother once told him:
If you find that your work itself gives you pleasure, and failure doesn’t fill your heart with sadness, and success doesn’t fill your mind with pride – that is when you know you are working in consonance with your soul’s purpose, your own “swadharma”.

Overall, it is a nice read, though you may not agree with some of his opinions, he does make you think! This being Amish’s first non-fiction book, it looks more like an experiment. Probably he should pick up the right subject, given that he is a great story-teller. All the three books I have read so far – Immortals of Meluha, Secret of the Nagas and Oath of the Vayuputras are extraordinarily brilliant!. What I discovered newly from this book is that, he is not just good at writing about mythology but is also great at describing his own life experiences. Giving preference to Passion over an ongoing career and making it work is actually a great thing in itself.

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