Sunday 7 September 2014

Book review- The Seller of Beliefs by Trishala D. Shah

"Seller of beliefs", the title had my eyes turn back to the book. I judged the book by it's cover and philosophy being my area of keen interest, I had to read it.


The entire book states the happenings of one single day. It's a short 112 pages' book about how a bubbly, talkitive girl living a superficial life, like more people today do than not, finds the path to her inner self. The girl is forced by her parents to attend a course she's not enthusiastic is the least about. The second day of the two day course requires the students to attend a fair, where they're each given a guide. Througout the day, using various metaphors, the girl realises different aspects of a happy life. The course infact helps her (and the reader) to penetrate a layer deeper in her own self. When the day ends, marking the end of the course as well, she experiences the sense of a richer self, and ofcourse, the true identity of her teacher and the guide.


According to one class of division, there are three kinds of books- one in which you are not quite getting a hang of the plot but the author's descriptions keep you hooked to the book; the second where the author's descriptions do not go well with you but you are enthralled by the plot; and a third where along with a great plot, the rich language has you drooling over the book. This book would fall in the second category.

I really like some of the ideas of rides in the fair that develop out of the author's imagination, for example 'the mirror of gospel truth' which makes the girl wonder what her real purpose in life is, or the 'sale tent'. But there are some other chapters which I wish the author had put more effort into creating a better idea than only penning down what first crossed her mind. The brilliant idea of the story that the author has come up with, could end up making a brilliant read too if she had used better explanations and not catered to amateur readers. Use of words like 'dumbo' and 'smarty' were a turn off for me, but then probably the author has not targeted an audience like me.

I liked the ending parts of the book more than the initial stages. As you read further in the book, you will realise the growth of the author's writing. But again, which part of the book you like (or even the entire book) will more naturally depend on what your weak point in life is. Having an inclination towards debates on the existence of God and universe and love and practice, I will give the latter part of the book a better rating. I seconded the guide's perception for who God was and I fell in love with Trishala's thoughts, how she used Shahrukh Khan as an illustrator to explain the principle of God being in everyone. Formidable!

However, I do believe another thorough and careful editing of the book could have polished it for the readers. This one gave a rather raw impression, which did need some finishing. There were, if you read closely, some instances where the author self contradicts to suit the situation and aid stereotypes. I found this more prominent in dealing with the character of the girl.

The book, as a whole, was more of the author's realisations of life, I gather, some of which she was absolutely successful in passing on to me. She was the seller of her beliefs and I did buy some on my way. The reason why I did not buy some other beliefs is because I either had my own strong conceptions of those beliefs which the author failed to break or because the others were far too clich├ęd for me. I say that having read a lot of life's philosophies. You could have some very different views, specially if this is the first philosophical fiction you'll be reading. In that case, the story might stay with you for some time and you may connect to your inner self whike reading it.

Philosophical fictions always make atleast one aspect of life clearer to you. This book, profused my belief in what the author prefers to call a 'stark raving madness', ie, " situations where mind and logic are not applied, where you take leave of all your senses- they go on to yield the beay moments of laughter. But you ought to drive out your fear of people. You ought to let innocence, openness and self-consciousness take over you", to quote the author.

I will not recommend the book to someone who reads a lot of philosophical fiction. But anyone who wishes to venture out in this genre must read the book once. It will help you to know yourself better. You see an author in the making and I will definitely pick up more titles by the author when they come out, for she did manage to prick my skin, if not pierce through it.

More than liking the book, I have liked author for the person she is, that is reflected from her ideas and imaginations put into the book, in a way that I'd enjoy a meet with her over a cup of coffee for a personal exchange of philosophies and learnings. (Trishala, take note! )

Find the facebook page of the book here-

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