Tuesday, December 3, 2013


As kids, checking horoscopes or finding out the characteristics of a particular Zodiac Sign used to thrill us and bring a zing to the life. Infact those of us still in the habit of flipping through the pages of daily horoscope, it becomes a mood moderator at times. Sometimes I wonder if my extremism and rapid mood swings have got anything to do with my being a Piscean or is it attributable to having a Hypo-Thyroid disorder? Thyroid, because though at times, but it is quite capable of throwing moods out of proportion. Well whatever the reasons may be, at least today, I look at it in a way that reaps the most out of it. Here I share with you an interesting one.

I love to read. But neither have I grown up in a book laden home nor it was a childhood interest. I happened to pick it up a few years back. Once into it, I thought ‘Oh what I missed all my life!’ but then almost immediately quite offended, my inner self replied ‘C’mon, at least you started it now and hello! Life’s not over as yet’. And now I say, “Thank God, I developed this habit”. I became a voracious reader only to slow down after my kids. So recently when I got on a reading spree, I was reading these two absolutely non-connected books which once made me slip into my spiritual shoes and at other time made me put my combat cap on to delve into some thrilling action. Well I am talking about ‘Living with the Himalayan Masters’ by Swami Rama and ‘No Easy Day’ by Mark Owen. Readers who are in a habit of reading more than one book at a time, will surely agree that it is a difficult thing to do and you need to have the knack of shifting from one mindscape to the other, justifying the grasp of the subject. So let me take these one by one to speak about it.

‘Living with the Himalayan Masters’ takes you deep through the spiritual journey of the sages and speaks about the eastern school of philosophy. In particular, it is an autobiographical account of Swami Rama in form of anecdotes. The book speaks about the spiritual encounters of the Swami and about his spiritual growth through the Himalayan passes and meeting with various sages and yogis of different practices. Written in a very simple manner, the book dwells on the ability of any person to achieve peace within and without the need of a structured religion. What I liked the most about the book is its approach towards getting over with the negativeness of life like ego, jealousy, mistrust etc. It reveals the life experiences of Swami Rama which transformed him and helped him overcome these pull backs in life. It is the story of an ordinary man who became a Yogi. And quite an interesting read too.

Now the second one which went simultaneously was ‘No Easy Day’ by Mark Owen. In the varied versions of Mission ‘Neptune Spear’, this book’s claim to fame is being the first hand account of the operation which killed the most dreaded militant and founder of the terrorist organization ‘Al-Qaeda’, Osama Bin Laden. Written under the pen name of ‘Mark Owen’ even this is an autobiographical account of a Navy Seal but at least half of the book is about the mission which killed Bin Laden. Being from the forces I could relate to the rigors of the training and exigencies of services. But the most thrilling part was reading through the narrative of the operation itself. Going by the high profile of the mission it kept me on my edges and curious about knowing the next move of the commandos. The book has been written well and takes us on a spine tingling ride of adventure.

So now that you know about the two diametrical books, I am sure you would understand that how at one point of time I was sailing in the sea of spirituality, trying to explore a pathway to peace and tranquility and almost immediately with a pounding heart became an invisible member of the killing team through the greenish haze of NVGs. And even if you do it that well, what would you attribute it to ?


  1. Hi Upma,
    It is really creditable how you can read and review such contrasting books.
    By the way, since you are going all spiritual and philosophical, here is a book recommendation for you: THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING by LIN YUTANG
    Read my book review written a few years ago and I am sure you will want to read this book:
    All the Best
    Keep Writing and Blogging
    Vikram Karve
    Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

  2. Thank you so much for giving your time to read my amateur efforts. Your guidance is becoming the wind beneath my wings. Will pick up the recommended book. Thanks.

  3. Lovely Upma ! Good start. U must keep it up.