Title: The Quest of the Sparrows
Author: Kartik Sharma, Ravi ‘Nirmal’ Sharma
Genre: Spiritual Fiction
Publisher: Rupa Publishing
The Quest of the Sparrows is a simple tale that brings practical spirituality to the reader without being preachy or pedantic. It is the story of a young, reluctant guru who embarks on a difficult journey with his followers.
Guru Partibhan has ‘guruhood’ thrust upon him. Considering himself unworthy and unequipped to take over the mantle of his father, who was an eminent spiritual leader, Partibhan starts on a 800 km long journey, on foot along with his followers. The test is to see if the Divine would support their journey which they undertake without any food, money or belongings.
Surprising things happen on the way to Ganapatipule, their destination. The followers get newer insights and their understanding broadens. This is the beginning of the spread of the practical spirituality movement that Guru Partibhan spearheads.
The book transcends from being a story or a mere lesson to a guide of how our lives need to be navigated. ‘The Quest of the Sparrows’ explores the value of spirituality in daily life. It also takes up the ideas of worry and insecurity that limit human potential.
The authors of the book are a father son duo. Ravi Nirmal Sharma is an Associate Creative Director (concepts and copy) with a reputed multinational agency. Kartik Sharma is an investment banker and an alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad.
What works well
Sparrows are considered carefree, gentle birds and when this book came up for a reading, I felt immediately that the book would be light and pleasing. And indeed, the books tackles the serious and the heavy topic of spirituality very simply.
The cover of the book gives a feeling that it is for the corporate world but in fact it is for everyone. Another advantage is that the characters and the incidents are completely Indian and are very relatable.
The writing is excellent; the pace of the book never slips and the characters are well developed and recognisable from the people around us.
What I learnt from reading the book
Reading this book has been a very positive and uplifting experience for me.
The book raises the question whether being spiritual is a brainwashed response, a question which I have grappled with for long. After reading the book, most of my doubts have melted away.
The Quest of the Sparrows demonstrates that we need to connect with our own Higher selves and recognise that the Divine is within all of us. Our minds struggle with smaller concerns so we fail to see the bigger picture and the wonder of creation. By changing our mindset, it is possible to liberate ourselves from our constant worries and insecurities.
The Quest of the Sparrows is a must read for everyone, whether a conscious seeker or not. It would open your mind to new ideas and a refreshingly liberated way of living.