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Novel: The Calling – Unleash Your True Self
Author: Priya Kumar
Publisher: Books That Inspire
Genre: Spiritual Fiction
Pages: 150
Price: INR 299/-
Accolades: WINNER of the USA Book Excellence Book Award, 2016.

About the author: Priya Kumar is a professional and motivational speaker, a former teacher and now an author of 8 published novels of which I Am Another You and License To Live have won numerous accolades. The Calling-Unleash Your True Self is the author’s eight novel and she has more novels yet to write. Her writing is beautiful on paper and in words. Her motivational talks on her YouTube channel keep you gripped and you find yourself nodding in agreement. As per her Wikipedia page, she’s also India’s first certified firewalking instructor. Quite a fiery persona, who is not only beautiful but also extremely talented. Her positive thoughts and talks will surely leave an impression on your soul.

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This book was sent by the author for an honest review along with a few goodies.

What is the plot of this novel?
The novel revolves around the spiritual purpose of a middle-aged man named Arjun, whose marriage and work has turned upside down and he seeks for answers in the midst of saintly mountains as directed by a Sadhu who heals him after his accident on his way to work.

The landscape plays an important role in setting the mood right for any story hence the setting in a novel is very important! The story is set in the Himalayan Ranges, close to a holy shrine of Hemkund Sahib, residing in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India. The author has collided a non-fictional place into a fictional work which gives it a more natural feel and helps you connect better with the protagonist as he journeys through the mountains to his destination. The mood is set to a spiritual level in this novel. Personally, I loved the location this story is set in because I am very eager to plan a trip to North of India sometime soon and this story made me ride a donkey in the snow clad mountains while I experienced spiritual upliftment of myself through the protagonist’s actions. I can imagine scenarios of what all I could do and what all could happen on my own journey to the majestic mountains.

“You cannot stop anything or anyone from changing. The only power that you do have is over your own state.The world will change – that is the law of the universe. But will you chnage according to the world, or will you change the world according to your vision? The answer to that will lead you either to disaster or to success.” 

Now let us dive into the handful of characters that build this beautiful novel. The protagonist of the novel is Arjun who is on a spiritual journey that leads him to his calling. Arjun has a wife named Maya, who has filed a divorce and has taken the custody of their girls. Arjun works as the Marketing Head of a company and things at work aren’t going great either. His life is a big fat mess but his best friend Jay is an optimistic being and always encourages and supports him.
One night, Arjun meets with an accident, falls into a valley and injures himself to death but he gets healed by a Sadhu, who tells him to unravel the purple thread behind the tree of Hemkund Sahib and Arjun sets off on this journey not knowing what lies ahead but he needed this, he wanted to escape his messy life. On his journey, he meets Chandu – the transporter. Chandu is the flat character of the novel as he doesn’t experience any change throughout the story, a pretty sorted character I must say! The things he does tickles your bones but his philosophical answers make you think deep. He is spiritually very matured for an eighteen-year-old boy. Without him, Arjun’s journey wouldn’t have even begun. Further into the journey, they come across the second Sadhu, a blue skinned man who has recently woken up from his Sadhna, wisely guides Arjun to his destination.

“Stop pretending not to know. Stop waiting for others to tell you who you are.”

Arjun’s messed up life begins to untangle gradually as he gets closer to knowing himself and his surroundings after learning and evolving with each experience and tests the mountains had in store for him. In the midst of the mountains, he finds his calling. We can all relate to Arjun if we are on our path to our calling or if we have already gone through it all and found our calling. If it’s the former, it will help the reader immensely by learning from Arjun’s mistakes and if you fall in the category of the latter then you won’t disagree with the words of Chandu and the Sadhu and maybe you will connect them with people in your life who helped you on your path to your calling! We are all here for a purpose, make sure you find your purpose as only then will you be whole and achieve the highest degree of happiness.

“A spiritual command has a deeper meaning than what is stated, an obvious meaning.”

Overall, I think this book deserves a read if you believe in God, the universe, spirits, positivity, goodness, and so on. It’s a light read and very relatable as some of the things that occurs in Arjun’s life could happen to anyone of us. There is lucidity in Priya’s words which make it a quick read too. Her motivational speaking is indirectly reflected in some of the characters. If you believe in the metaphysical then you will understand this story even better. The paperback book isn’t heavy to carry around either. Also, since I am a spiritual person myself, this story unravelled so many explanations to doubts many can never explain as well as Priya did through this novel. It gives you perfect amount of philosophical talks which make you rethink your perspective towards life. An enrichment to the soul kind of novel!
My score for this book would be an 8/10.

If you still haven’t found that one purpose of your existence then you must buy this book right away! If you know of someone who might need some inspiration on “finding themselves” then gift them this book. If you love reading in general then this book won’t disappoint you and will surely make you feel much more positive and spiritual as a person.

Priya Kumar is a great speaker, watch the video below and decide for yourself. I was hooked to her channel.

Happy reading, always stay positive, find your purpose, follow your calling!

-Zainab Attari