Review – “The Indigo Sun” by Rupa Bhullar

There was a time when people used to have no crisis at all (apparently), then came mid-life crisis and suddenly today we see people having a quarter-life crisis. The crisis seems to be getting younger by the day, and the way it’s proceeding, kids are gonna have it soon enough! But here what am concerned about is the crisis that engulfs millennials, I’ve recently learned this word and got to know that am one of them too, the group of people who have moved away from their roots (read native land/birthplace/parents) physically, but are not ready to give up on them completely yet to embrace their present surroundings wholeheartedly. There is always something that makes them look back despite having everything that is needed for a good and comfortable, or at times a lavish lifestyle.
The Indigo Sun by Rupa Bhullar is one such tale of a young woman, lost in her life, trying to find out the purpose which can drive her further with the same zeal that she used to have earlier. It follows her journey from her upscale New York apartment to the dunes of Rajasthan, a journey which she undertakes in hopes of reviving the charm she has lost.

Maya is devastated, she has lost all of her will to live. Finding no way out of the misery that has surrounded her, she lands in Jaipur, her birthplace, and checks in at a super comfortable and lavish hotel (read resort), all the way from New York City. while she contemplates her life and decisions, she comes across a young boy, Ananda, and finds a companion in him. Through him, she comes in touch with Hukum via e-mails, a mysterious person who advises her on her deepest thoughts which she has laid bare in front of him. With the help of Ananda and Hukum, Maya starts looking at life with a positive perspective again. Roaming the streets of Jaipur and Pushkar Fair with Ananda gives her the little joys she has been missing for long. During one of her night stays at Ananda’s place, Maya finds herself drawn towards a melodious voice in the dead of the night. Following it, she finds herself in the company of Leela, a mystic gypsy woman who gives her six beads, which are to be strung whenever she finds her truth, keeping the seventh with herself, to be given when all the six others are stringed together. Also, she tells her to follow her heart to find whatever she is looking for. What began as a dubious and impulsive journey, now becomes Maya’s life’s motivation to find the truth that would help her be happy and peaceful. In her path, she comes across various people who inadvertently help her finally reach that seventh bead, her destination.

When I picked this book up, I was a bit skeptical of it, the kind of book it promised to be in as per the blurb was a mix of life-changing events cum romance cum some adventure. By the time I was halfway into it, I realized it was nothing of that sort but philosophy wrapped in fiction, to appease readers like me, who otherwise wouldn’t dare pick up a philosophical book. The language is lucid, with no hints of the author trying to overdo with English despite her being an NRI. As far as the plot goes, the author completely draws the point she wants to without losing control of it even for a single moment. The story remains true to its plot, and characters, Maya’s search for her life’s purpose and happiness. It’s a super slow and dramatic read.
What I found interesting was the fact that despite being fiction, the story spoke volumes on philosophy, in fact, it was a lot of philosophy, about life and true happiness, though it got a little too much for me, and I had to really think about going further. All the characters Maya meets in her journey seem to give her life’s wisdom, be it little Ananda, his mother, random taxi drivers, her father’s aunt, her friend’s grandmother and every other person she encounters, phew! A lot of wisdom floating around, huh? Also, the way in which every single character shares it with her is exactly the same, it starts from letting me tell you a story/an incident and ends with Maya being in their awe form imparting her such priceless words. Barring a few, almost all of the characters in the story were super-duper rich, like royal kinda rich. This, I found to be off because the kind of thinking they had, like happiness is the most important kinda stuff, wouldn’t have been possible if they weren’t as much well to do given the grim reality of today, money. I was all along thinking that how the story would have shaped up, had Maya not been in a position to give up her comfortable and successful life in New York and spend exorbitant amounts on a vacation cum soul-searching journey. Would she then have run away the way she did, leaving her mother behind to fend for herself? What would have happened if she had to stay and earn to run the house and manage her miseries along? The thing about money, even the mention of it is missing. I realize it’s fiction, and the plot has been made to order, but a little bit of reality wouldn’t have hurt.
Nobody, ever, has been able to comprehend life, and no one will ever be able to do it. Not you, not me, not our elders or their ancestors. For me, finding the purpose of my life is not so important, or I must say that not at all important. What matters to me is that I live each day and every moment with such zeal that along with making my life happy, I rub it off on the people around me as well.
Life comes with its own mixed bag of joys and sorrows, each, without the other is baseless and useless. When we come across that point in our lives where we find ourselves helpless and abandoned, it is then that we realize that it is totally up to us to look at the problems with either a positive or a negative perspective. It’s easier said than done, agreed, but the least we can do to get over is try, can’t we? And haven’t we all?


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