Author Manoj Jain’s seventh novel, ‘Meeting Yama’, is ready to hit the bookshelves soon. This work of fiction delves into the finely woven mythological stories of death as our ultimate final destination.
The book takes readers along on the journeys of three characters – Amrit, Rajat and Surya – whose lives collide briefly in the Indian pilgrim city of Varanasi. Amrit, an advertising professional from Mumbai, is mourning his mother’s demise and visiting to immerse her ashes in the holy Ganges. Rajat is a neurologist by profession, attending a medical conference in the city, who decides to extend his stay at the request of his mentor. Surya, a man discontent with his unfulfilling marriage, is on a spiritual quest, chasing a dream, to fill what he perceives as a void in his life. The narrative follows their paths to self-discovery as they seek to find resolutions to the issues that they carry within them.
Their journeys intersect when the three men find themselves on the same boat ferrying them on the ageless river. Here, the author beautifully blurs the lines between fiction and legend, as the boatman narrates to his passengers mythological stories from Varanasi’s history. His stories serve to demystify Yama. He is described not as the usual harbinger of loss and destruction, but instead as a physical manifestation of dharma, or duty. He is portrayed as the great equaliser and the final purveyor of justice as we approach the end of our lives.
Steeped in mysticism and culture, this riverside city forms the perfect backdrop for the story, where all the answers are said to be found, if only one is willing to listen. Even the title of the book, ‘Meeting Yama’ serves to imply the death of the old self, and the birth of self-realisation. Focussing on spirituality as an inescapable aspect of our lives, this book will leave a lasting impact on every reader.
About the Author
An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and a student of Psychology, Manoj Jain also runs his own garment export business alongside his writing endeavours. He has always been interested in human relationships and how they are affected by circumstances. His frequent travels across the world present him with multiple opportunities to meet new people and absorb their interesting stories, giving him unique insights into the way we think.