New Delhi: Father-son duo of Ravi Nirmal Sharma and Kartik Sharma were having these normal discussions and arguments on spirituality and happiness when they struck upon the idea of translating their thoughts into a book using the humble sparrow as the metaphor.
And thus their debut novel ‘The Quest of the Sparrows’ was born.
"My dad used to attend meditation seminars and tell me about them and the discourses. I took interest in them and started attending some of these programmes. At home, we held discussions and exchanged our thoughts," says Kartik, an investment banker based in Mumbai and an alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad.
"We had lot of questions before us: What is the role of spirituality in our lives? Is it impossible to achieve utopia or something vital to our being joyous, our very existence? What happens to us when we break the laws of spirituality to achieve success? So we decided to seek the real meaning of happiness by writing this book in a story format," says Kartik.
The central character of the novel, published by Rupa, is Partibhan, a young and reluctant guru who is inspired by the life of a sparrow.
Partibhan, who believes that human beings can become powerful creators, sets out to test spiritual principles at a practical level by undertaking a 600-km journey on foot without money and belongings. He wishes to demonstrate that man dependence on materialism and the need to accumulate is overrated.
The onus of putting the thoughts on paper fell on Kartik`s father Ravi, an associate creative director in a MNC.
"My dad started penning the book. I did not agree to some of his ways of presenting our thoughts and so I started reworking. I wrote the character of Sanjeev,” Kartik says, adding his professional life helped to a great extent in writing the book as "lots of ideas came up".
"We did not want our book to be a preaching kind of stuff. So we decided to put in a novel format. As for the sparrow as metaphor, we chose the bird as it leads a carefree life, eat only the quantity it can and not more than that. It is happy and contend with whatever it has," says Ravi.
"We see around us a plethora of material success but not happiness. Despite running rat races willingly and getting what they chase, people are still unhappy at the end of their journey.
What is it they miss? What is the truth which they discover too late? We tried to address these issues in our own simple way. This book is all about doing the right things to evolve into a happier and better human being," he says.