Book Reviews - Taking wings
by Suma Varughese
Free fall - The Journey Home, Author: Rohini Singh, Published By: Hay House, Pages : 192 Pages, Paperback, Price : INR 299
Free fall is a charming allegory about the eternal quest for Self and freedom. Shona, an Alexandrine parakeet, was rescued by her mistress, Sheila, when as a little fledgling, she had fallen from her nest. Sheila lovingly nursed her back to life and health. Shona grew up in this happy household which included Sheila, her kids, Jazz the dog and Rani the haughty Persian cat. Living in a beautiful golden cage, pampered with the best of food and love, life could not be better.
Why then did she keep getting these dreams that pointed her to the blue skies she felt destined to fly in? To make matters worse, a strange entity called Shona 2 appeared in her dreams, and goaded her to leave, telling her to follow her dreams. And so began the journey for Shona, that all seekers are accustomed to – going off the beaten path, and discovering the truths of life by aching moment. Along her journey, Shona encounters storms, death, friendship and love and slowly begins to understand life. Through her conversations with Shona 2 (her Higher Self), she is given comfort, guidance and insights on how to make choice and on going with the flow. As her learning fuses she perceives the grand pattern of her life. None of it was her doing – there had always been a Bigger Plan.
For a really successful allegory, the philosophy has to be as simple as the narration so that the story and the teaching flow seamlessly. Rohini Singh manages to do that for most of the way. One of the memorable sections in the book relate to Shona learning about death, from a leaf that has fallen to the ground. “I’m not going anywhere actually, even if that’s how it looks to you. I’m just changing form.” Emotions are described graphically - anger as a big, black cloud, hurt as a soft, sad worm, worry as grey and soothing. But some of the loftier advaitic teachings on oneness do seem a little too heavy to hang on this slender tale. That apart, this book is warmly recommended. Shona’s journey of self-discovery holds our attention and our interest. And when she finally gets the freedom she has sought, one is as pleased as if one’s own cherished pet had done so.