Tuesday, February 2, 2016
SHRAYAN by multi-awarded poet and novelist Abha Iyengar is the kind of book that renders you in deep reflection after reading it. Could it be that our search for the fulfillment of our deepest aspiration/s will eventually wind up in a solo journey back to ourselves? If so, what is the point of aspiring for a greater self at all? But this is not an excuse to say, I am what I am, because without the journey outside our respective spheres and into the bigger world, we will never arrive at that exulted state that allows us deeper understanding and appreciation of who we are and that includes our imperfections, be they real or perceived. This is a good read. No, allow me to correct myself. Shrayan is a great read especially if you follow the journey of the main character closely (yes, like a stalker) and you get to see the changes in him.
This is not just a physical metamorphosis. It is also a personal analysis of our evolution and the influences that shape or deform us. We search for acceptance outside ourselves (from others) not realizing that the kind of acceptance that can make us truly happy is one that comes from within, from us. The author drives this point home very effectively through Shrayan's various transformations.
The message of freedom is also very strongly delivered here. We often make the mistake of roaming far and wide, away from ourselves, in search of it but freedom is not for the world to give. On the contrary, the world keeps us in bondage. Our many desires, induced by what we see in others, are self-inflicted enslavements. We may reach the pinnacle of our aspirations and still feel that nagging void within us.
In the end we want to break free from all the trappings and "perfections" of life. There is no state of perfection outside ourselves. That is only an illusion, as Shrayan found out. There is a Shrayan in each of us raring to get out on a journey.
SHRAYAN met my expectations on so brilliant a storyteller that is Abha Iyengar.