“What is Shunya? Shunya is something you cannot put into words. Shunya is neither a man nor a woman, neither human nor divine. Shunya is something beyond all definition; it is the void, the nothingness of the centre of existence.”
These words, said by the compère of the evening, reverberated in the vibrant ambience of one of the halls of the Indian International Center, New Delhi, where mystic Sri M’s debut fictional novel Shunya was launched on May 18, 2018.
Sudhamahi Raghunathan, former vice chancellor of the Jain Vishva Bharati University and an author herself, introduced the book to a packed hall while moderating the evening. Reading excerpts from the book, she mentioned, “When you look at shunya (zero) you see nothing, but when you look through the shunya you see the world.” As Raghunathan read from the book, flautist G Raghuraman’s mellifluous notes infused the hall with sublimity.
This was followed by a round of dialogue moderated by Raghunathan between noted politician and philanthropist Dr Karan Singh and the mystic Vedantin from Kerala, Sri M. Discussing the book, Dr Singh said, “In every debut novel, readers find three things in common—the location, which is basically where the author has been brought up, the author or the author’s alter ego, and the Guru. The Guru in this novel is Shunya and is a very extraordinary man,” concluded Dr Singh.
Elaborating upon his decision to take the fictional route, Sri M explained, “It is very difficult to draw a line between fact and fiction. Simply reading the facts may not help them be retained for a long time in our minds. But when we read something in a fictional style, it subconsciously gets stuck in our mind. Fiction is all about presenting the truth in an embroidered way. Hence, Shunya is facts presented in a fictional style.” The book is published by Westland Publishers.
The launch was followed by the book signing session by the author. Maneka Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child development, actor Dimple Kapadia, and Varun Gandhi, member of Lok Sabha were also present at the launch.
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