The Allegorical Expedition
The Allegorical Expedition: A Quest for Truth by P Satyadeep is a mystical novel with a great fusion of mythology and fiction, spiritualism and architecture, novel and movie. The book at times amazed me, confused me, enlighten me but not once I felt to let go of it without finishing.
The book is about the protagonist Satyajit who is tired of directing mainstream commercial movies and is greatly intrigued when a challenging script comes his way which requires extensive research.
His research makes him travel from one end of the country to another. On the course he gathers many life changing experiences which helps him to evolve spiritually and develops a deep understanding of life and its universal truth. And in the end he delivers a kind of movie which enthralls both public and critics equally.
The plot includes many genres in one book like spiritual, mythology, realistic fiction and road trip. Everything has gelled well to produce a completely fresh story line which I haven’t read in quite sometime. That is a reason I always agree to review debutante novels as they brings in fresh perspectives and if the book is written excellently then that is the added bonus.
It is tightly yet compact well written book where there are few opportunities or actually none to jump and skip reading. If a portion is skipped then later part of the book is difficult to understand. But the questions like what is the quest of Satyajit, how he will find the answers and what will be the answers are enough to keep readers like me glued to the book.
So did Satyajit finds his answers. Yes, he does. Those answers takes the form of script which develops in the blockbuster movie. It was quite a unique and interesting style on the part of the author to unveil the truth which is fully justified given that the protagonist is a movie director.
Throughout the book, the author has made sure to give reality touch to the plot. So if Satyajit is travelling then all the places he visited were properly described and beautiful description of nature has been written.
If he is directing a movie, then the entire scene has been written in a way that readers could easily imagine the on going shooting.
If he is in the spiritual healing center then the entire ambiance is described accordingly. Anyone who meditates could easily relate to Satyajit’s frustration of not being able to control his thoughts.
Same was the case when he visits an Ashram in Kashi. Description of Kashi was so close to reality. I have been to Kashi and my experience is similar to that described in the book.
When the story takes the mythological dives, the author goes on to write right from the beginning of creation of this world by Brahma till the war of Ten Kings. In between comes out the story of rivalry between Vishwamitra and Vashisht which is becoming quite popular topic for the author’s these days to write their mythological novels. Recent I have read is Menaka’s Choice by Kavita Kane. Also there is Vishwamitra by Vineet Agarwal.
The spiritual teachings in the book is also worth reading. Specially a part where it is explained that how different person perceives the same event in different way and conceive different belief. This in turn develops negative and positive views in people.
What confuses me is that the book doesn’t completes the circle and goes through different time phases. The book starts with Satyajit stuck with his motorcycle in a snow clad mountainous region, out of resources and waiting for a miracle to happen or death to come. From there he goes in a flashback mode and the story never again comes back to this point again explaining what he is doing there and was he saved.
There is a flashback even in the flashback. A bit complex if someone looses the track in between absent minded reading.
The book ends with Satyajit packing his bags again to search his lost friend Dharma Teja who also happens to be the author of the novel which was adapted into the movie by Satyajit. So the book ends leaving behind a loose end which might be an indication for a sequel.
Not An Impressive Cover
Also the jacket of the book doesn’t do justification to the plot. The cover has a photo of a riding motorcycle in the snow-clad mountainous region which refers to the first chapter of the book. It has no direct connection with the rest of the plot. Also it gives an impression that the story has something to do with Himalayan Expedition which is also not the case.
The Allegorical Expedition is a kind of book after reading which I would say that time well spend reading which enlighten me on spiritually and enhanced my understanding of our mythology which has facts in them..