THE HUMAN PILGRIMAGE : A TALE OF TRANSFORMATION.
This is the last blog in this series of MY SECOND NOVEL. I would give a brief outline line of the novel. The problem for a novelist trying to give a summary of a novel is not what to include and what to leave out. Rather , the problem is to tell maximum while saying minimum. For obvious reasons , a novelist can not give too many details of an unpublished novel because , in days of speed reading , the readers would fill in the blanks and avoid buying the book. Similarly , if the summary is devoid of relevant details , the potential reader would have no rational basis to decide whether to buy the book or not. Therefore , I would stick to the middle ground. I would rather focus on emotional canvas of the novel and describe the core principle behind the novel.
Let me begin with some of the main characters that span this novel. The protagonist of the novel is Mr. Gautum Parikh a fifty-seven year old chartered accountant in private practice. He loses his girlfriend even before he could propose to her. His girlfriend , Anuradha Rathod , is a daughter of a police officer. Years later , Gautum Parikh meets a girl Ms. Anamika Patel , who wants to join his firm as his junior. There are series of coincidences which makes Gautum to suspect that Anuradha is indeed born again as Anamika. However , he has no means to verify this suspicion.
The novel revolves around series of events that unfold after Anamika joins his firm. At every turn of events , Gautum finds his suspicion being strengthened. However , he knows , somewhere deep within , that his mind could be playing tricks by interpreting these events to conveniently conclude that Anamika is a reincarnation of Anuradha. The novel his journey from doubt to superstition and from superstition to wisdom. His transformation from a rational self centred young man to a wise old man is the theme of this novel. The question is whether this transformation turns to be a pilgrimage or not ? To find the answer , the readers would have to read the novel.
As a novelist , my main concern was the emotional continuity of the three characters viz. Gautum , Anuradha and Anamika as the novel progressed. It is my belief we experience the transition of emotions and even our values without being conscious of changes in ourselves. When we experience these transitions , we think of ourselves as a constant entity and we think that our emotions have changed. However , in reality , it is other way around. The human emotions are absolutes and we are changing. It is we who identify ourselves with different emotions at different times as our life changes. Therefore , what we think of ourselves , our self image , is not really absolute but a continuously changing projection of ourselves based on our temporary emotional state. Therefore , the true pilgrimage consists of finding our true selves which is beyond these emotional transitions.
Therefore , I wanted to describe emotional continuity of these characters to achieve narrative continuity. However , I was hoping that these continuous emotional transitions would also enable Gautum , and therefore the readers , to see his own true self. The events in Gautum’s life are not karmic devices to help him to meet Anuradha again , but the events are instruments to help Gautum to know his true self. The question is whether I have managed to do it ? or whether Gautum meets Anuradha in the form of Anamika ? To find answers to these questions , the readers will have to read the novel.
This brings me to the end of this series of blogs. I can only hope that the topics discussed in these blogs have managed to prod the readers to question the values of life. My novel never offers a word of wisdom. Rather , it asks questions which the readers can answer only by reflecting on their own lives. In other words , the readers would have to undertake their own private pilgrimage to find their own true selves. My novel is simply a fellow traveller’s guide to that journey.
I am going to take a break from blogging for few weeks. After that , I would resume. Of course , I would keep in touch with the readers about the progress of my second novel during the new blogs.