I have always been fascinated and mesmerized by the TajMahal.I have visited the monument thrice and every single time has been left spellbound. And to be honest, the book cover made me opt for this book for a review! I was sent a digital copy of the book through TheBookClub in exchange for my honest review.
The Silver Lining
The book title is apt to the storyline and we get to know that it does revolve around the city of Agra and the monument TajMahal.The blurb more or less covers the first part of the story
“In the historic Indian town of Agra, you can find a very unusual tour company, which is owned by a charming young man named Raj. Although Raj’s official job is to show off the historical landmarks of Agra, including the legendary Taj-Mahal, his true mission is to heal the souls of his broken “birds,” as he affectionately refers to his tour participants. His business operates purely upon word-of-mouth referrals, ensuring that all of his tour members arrive in Agra with their hearts in their hands, ready for the spiritual growth and cleansing that Raj is known to provide. Healing the hearts of the spiritually damaged can be a difficult job, and in this particular tale, Raj finds himself faced with his most challenging tour group yet. First, there is Ira, a stunningly gorgeous but fragile young woman on the brink of suicide. Next, we meet Darci and Lennard, a couple on the verge of divorce. Then there is Carl, an irritable, antisocial workaholic who has burned all of his bridges. Lastly, we meet Asha, an elderly widow who still yearns for the company and comfort of her late husband. When disaster strikes the tour group, everything is thrown into jeopardy, including lives, relationships, and Raj’s very reputation as a tour guide. Raj must find a way to lift the spirits of these five special travelers, even in the face of death and despair. Venture into the unknown and discover how Raj Touristry heals the brokenhearted, one soul at a time.”
The idea behind the story of -a Tourist guide with a holistic approach towards guiding tourists around interesting places, as well as guiding them out of the mess in their lives, is in itself exhilarating. In corporate terms, this is customer service at its best with an empathetic perspective!
The language used is simple English and the narration follows a linear pattern. The characters and their lives are synonymous with jumbled words waiting to be unjumbled and set right by Raj!
“Voyagers into the Unknown” has got an interesting and simple storyline and yet makes the reader to introspect, ponder and relate with their personal upheavals and relationships. The character of Raj re-emphasizes the power of positivity and hope springs eternal! Each of the characters brings out the varied emotions displayed under various circumstances and this makes the characterization very much plausible. Interesting to note that a 70+ Carl too metamorphoses for good- showing that a person does not become too old to realize his follies and accept good! Some of the lines which made me ponder are :
“Doubtful, cryptic and imperfect yet sometimes humanity could rise to create something as beautiful and lasting as the TajMahal”
“Emotions tend to entwine earthlings together……Humans are fascinated by emotional material”
“Hope is not just a noun that people use to address the many issues, but it is also anticipation that man clings upon when the path seems dark with no place to go”
I somehow could not relate to the sequence of conversations and who was speaking to who at some places! Maybe there was a lack of cohesion between the lines. However, the writer should be applauded for an interesting storyline with appropriate twists and turns and for keeping the readers hooked till the end.
Also, I was reminded of the lines of Shakespeare from his play ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ while reading the second half of the book: “For it so falls out That what we have we prize not to the worth Whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost, Why then we rack the value, then we find The virtue that possession would not show us, Whiles, it was ours.”
Overall it’s a book on relationships, love, and family and how trust, mutual understanding, and compromise, can do wonders in sustaining every relationship on this earth! Also that no one is indispensable on this earth forms the crux of this story.
Do grab a copy for a heartwarming read! I give this wonderful book a rating of 4 / 5!
Title: Voyagers into the Unknown
Author: Ruchira Khanna
Genre : Fiction/ Relationships
Total Pages: 150
Publication: Balboa Press