“There’s a sign on the wall,
But she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook
There’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiving.”
The above lines from the Led Zeppelin classic Stairway to Heaven were possibly the first time that people began to wonder that words could have more meanings than what they signify and beyond the double entendre, if such a word lends itself to an obvious carnal meaning. One such word is Is. The importance of the word in the sense of one’s being grounded in oneself and being present and aware at that moment is immeasurable. That is the one of the many premises the 95-page book Is A Journey That Will Change Your Life sets out.
The author, Sandeep Amar, a leader in the digital space in the country, has scrunched many things that one scarcely notices into a necklace of ideas that surround the person: the self, the ego, the other, the moment and the eternal rogue of the Bhagavad Gita, the destroyer of all worlds, Time. Amar sets out on this journey in very clear and concise language though he does disarmingly concede that the idea behind what he is saying makes sense even if the language doesn’t lend itself to it. There is no mumbo jumbo here, not even that ubiquitous secular deep breathing, there is only understanding and can be followed by laymen for whom this book is obviously written. Though sounding like Eknath Easwaran at times, the author veers away into mind twisters like this one on Page 48:
“The experience cannot be explained. The explained is not an experience. The experience of state with no thoughts will give a path to the essential thing in life. The experience of moments with no thought will give a path to the experience of the world through senses.”
Mental gymnastics aside, the book steps into domains that would make rivals of the baba factory, the self-realised gang and the aware folk. Beyond its simplicity, the assertions made in the book are neatly summarized after each of the 12 chapters. It’s a breeze to read it, one would say, noticing its slightness but who needs to be a Sumo Yokozuna to get to the visceral.
Note the analogies, the book turns some deft words into meaning something quite different from what one has seen or unseen it to be. Anything more on the book would give much too much away. But, yes, like the lady who’s sure in the Led Zeppelin song mentioned above, words do have two meanings.
One quibble though. For instance, the author is talking of electrical energy and is holding forth on it and all of a sudden, he will start on tungsten lamps or Edison by saying we’ll talk of electrical energy later. This is like many newspapers, which have turn pages, carrying a part of the story on Page 1 and taking the rest of it to an inside page after giving it due weight and display.