3 LIVES in search of Bliss :: An Amazing book.
“Death Comes in many forms. To Ray Cordoza it came in the form of an eighteen year old with thin eyebrows, a gaunt face and sunken eyes that reflected the torment of his soul.” This is how Srini opens his 130 page book “3 Lives … in search of bliss.” Well, I would extend his death analogy to knowledge, I would say that knowledge and bliss also follow the same path. They come to a person in many forms, and it’s upto him or her on how he/she wants to get it and use it. How else can one explain, me reading Srini’s humorous article on The Unreal Times , then visiting “what ho” to read more of Srini’s articles and then finally ending up reading this wonderful book from Srini Chandra.
“3 Lives in search of Bliss” is one of the best books I have read till date, even now I wonder like how so much can be told in so few words. As I mentioned before, the book starts with Ray Cordoza’s death, his frustration on “why me” ? and then his conversation with a Voice and then his quest for happiness. How he is given 3 lives ? (each designed to fulfill his wishes like wealth, health, long life , knowledge etc….) and what he learns from each of his life and enriches himself and his living experience form the crux of the story.
What amazes me is the maturity level and the superior level of understanding Ray exhibits as he goes from one life another. Was Srini speaking about the changes in the level of consciousness the soul and the body it takes exhibit as they change lives and accumulate more and more knowledge on the inner self? Again, the conversations between Ray and the voice are profound. Srini Chandra did a brilliant job on that. While I was amazed by the maturity displayed by the Anwar-Al-safi, I was more than floored by reading the accounts of Jill and Tenzing. The way knowledge transforms the soul and the body that it takes was very very beautifully illustrated. I was reminded of the verse “Avidyaya mrutyum teertva vidyayaa amrutmasnute”.
Feeling blessed that I read this book, I somehow got connected with the theme of the book. The conversations between the characters are really profound. There are quite a number of places in the book in that made me actually underline the sentence with a feeling that it is a great one and I should keep reading it again and again. I have always loved Srini’s style of writing, so enjoyed this one too. The book is fast paced, a page turner you would not like to put down. The way Srini combines philosophy and fiction to teach us some life lessons is real good.
I also liked the way in which Selim and his soul have been handled, the way the journey begins for that soul also is good. The same is true for Nashima as well. I am controlling my self from giving away more details as this is something one has to read and experience for one’s self. It would be like doing a fast paced course on happiness and contentment.
One thing I did not understand though, is the fact that all the lives of the soul seem to have some overlap . For Ray was a cabbie in New York, so the chances are that he would have lived in the last one hundred years, then we have Anwar-Al-Safi’s life, we also get to see Jill who witnesses the Mumbai attacks and then Tenzing who is a part of the monks migration to India. To me all theses events happened in the last one century. I donno if the author wanted to weave a truly fictional account of things, or if he wanted to say that there might be parallelism among the lives of the same soul. I would re read the book to make sure.
That apart, I really loved the book. I would give a full five on five for it. I strongly recommend the book for anyone who is interested in understanding, life happiness and bliss. It’s a must-read, for, as we read the book it’s not accumulating or assimilating content, it’s actually experiencing and enjoying our own lives.
Do pick the book and you would have done a good service to yourself.