” What is life? Does it have meaning and purpose? How can we make it a happy experience?”
Do the questions sound familiar? These age-old questions have kept philosophers and religions busy in trying to find the answers. “Life” By Tomichan Matheikal is a book that looks at life from different angles. In this book of 24 essays, the author has picked topics related to life, drawing inspiration from philosophy, literature and religion. The essays included in the book were first published as blog posts on the author’s blog during the #BlogchatterA2Z. Since I couldn’t read all of the posts during the campaign, I was glad when Tomichan Sir collated the essays and published them as a book during the Ebook carnival. Having the essays as an ebook made it easier for me to read them at my pace, and then ponder on the thoughts raised.
I have always admired Tomichan Sir’s writing style. Tomichan Sir picks topics that are current and relevant. In each essay, a point is being made, politely, yet firmly. He then puts across his point so lucidly that you cannot help but marvel at his critical thinking process. Parallels are drawn from literature, philosophy, world affairs, religions and then blended seamlessly into his arguments to prove the point. These essays are musings from the author, in which the author picks relatively unconnected topics, ranging from realism, Kafka’s prison, to Quest to the Paradigm shift, and then ties them all together.
Quite a few books based on life and philosophies confuse the reader by the use of complex concepts and difficult vocabulary. This book is different from them, as it is almost simplistic in its approach. Each essay has been written in simple, yet concise language. The author’s attention never wanders, staying focussed on the topic firmly. There are bits and pieces of political sarcasm interspersed to enliven the reading. Each essay at the end also has a small doodle, related to the topic. I think the doodle adds a quirky, personal touch to the book.
Each essay makes you pause and ponder. You take time to understand and assimilate all you have read. While reading the book, you marvel at the in-depth knowledge the author has on diverse subjects like popular fiction, Sanskrit, greek philosophy etc. You realise how erudite as a reader the book’s author is. It is very difficult as a reader to pick a particular essay from this book as a favourite. Reading the whole book was an enriching experience. There were a few essays, which made a little more impact for me, including “The Bandwagon effect”, “Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Monkeys”, and “Zorba’s Secret”. “Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Monkeys” was a shocker and an eye-opener. “Zorba’s Secret”, if we read very carefully, is the actual truth and a fitting end to a book based on life.
Despite picking “Life” as the topic, the book doesn’t get very heavy or monotonous, it engages the readers attention. The book will not give you the answers you are looking for, but it will kindle your curiosity. “Life 24 essays” is a book that makes you question, provokes you to think. And I think that is the hallmark of a great book.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’
Read on for the book blurb and to know more about the author
This is a collection of essays that throw light on the intricate affair called life. What is life? Does it have meaning and purpose? How can we make it a happy experience?
Philosophers and religions have spent much time on these questions. The results are multifarious. Every person is unique and hence universally acceptable answers to these questions are impossible. While religions satisfy some and philosophy appeals to many, literature and arts enlighten others. This book looks at life from various angles. You will find philosophy, literature, and religion mingling with each other seamlessly in this volume.
About the Author
Tomichan Matheikal is passionate teacher, avid reader, prolific blogger, and above all an incisive thinker. [Incisive implies potential to bite!].