Saturday, April 10, 2010

REVIEW: A Tale of Two Truths

A Tale of Two Truths
Ashvin Desai
Rs 199
Pp 134
ISBN: 0143066242

Dhobi-ka-Gadha, like most other donkeys, was born detached, blissfully ignorant of the great beyond. Food, his beloved Pyari and a day without a beating from the washerman were the only thoughts that filled his mind. But then along came Toti, the Buddhist parrot from Sarnath, and in her wake Langu, the Hindu monkey from Varanasi, armed with the tenets of their religions. Both had one agenda: to convert the donkey. While one promised Nirvana, the other assured Moksha, words that a donkey could ignore. However, the promise of freedom, by leapfrogging a few steps up the karmic ladder to become a human being, was a carrot even Dhobi-ka-Gadha could not pass. And thus began his downfall.

A brilliant satire, A Tale of Two Truths resurrects the fable genre. As he demolishes the absoluteness of ritualistic religion, Ashvin Desai offers a dash of clarity and wisdom with his extraordinary wit.

Lured by higher ideals Deccan Herald
What is that one thing you should avoid like the plague if you want contentment, joy and peace in your life? Well, it is religion! At least that is what Ashvin Desai’s hilariously written book A Tale of Two Truths convinces you to believe. Justifying the clichéd saying that “All good things come in small packages,” this little book of delightful satire talks about how religion can play havoc with human life if it is not adopted with awareness and discretion.

Dhobi ka Gadha or simply DkG is washerman Sukhiya’s donkey whose consistently unruffled state of mind, free from any emotional fluctuations, could be a matter of envy for even a highly evolved spiritual person. But then, isn’t such a blissful state a crime to indulge in when the real purpose of life is to ponder over higher spiritual truths and liberate oneself from the clutches of Maya? So Langu (the monkey) and Bodhi Toti (the parrot), representatives of the two great religions of Hinduism and Buddhism respectively, volunteer to save DkG from falling into the abyss that spiritual non-inquiry can lead one to.

No comments:

Post a Comment