Book Title: Tiya – A Parrot’s Journey Home
‘Tiya’ is not just a story book. It is not just another novel. It is not a fable with prescriptive lessons at the end of every chapter. It is a very differently done book with a subtle message weaved beautifully inside a well structured fable. The story is about a parrot named ‘Tiya’. Her journey out into the world and how she finds her way back home.
Losing our way in the world is not a new thing – after all we all do it every day. The beauty is more in the way the author describes the experiences we face. I think the very first instance of the parrot listening to his inner voice and moving away from the banyan (his comfort zone) is in itself not a common happening in many of our lives. We rarely listen to the voice within, and even if we do we give in to the worldly necessities, peer pressures, attachments, and routines. This does not let us move out of our comfort zones at all. I stopped reading this book at this point and fell into deep reflection. How can we listen to the voice (a Swan’s in Tiya’s case) within and make that courageous step to let go and move ahead. If you are one who has faced this situation and has made that great decision, you will be happily surprised that you are an exception.
The various worlds that ‘Tiya’ passes through are simply fascinating. Every world is made up of imaginary creatures, who share a lot of the characteristics with various types of people we meet in the process of our journey. The world is actually made up of many worlds! Many times during the reading, I also felt that many of these worlds are what every one of us passes through. Few of us fall in love with the sight, its beauty and stay stuck, only to realize that what we see is not the complete picture. A few of the worlds described by the author are nothing but the attitudinal types that we interact with every day. Some may even be the behaviors that resemble how we behave in different spheres of our life.
The beauty in describing the various types of worlds that a person will go through if they decide to start this journey is amazing. On deeper reflection, they also resemble worlds that we may encounter if we attempt a journey back to our source. If I get a chance to meet up with the author, then one thing I would ask him is if these worlds are inner worlds or outer worlds? Apart from the descriptions of the characters and the world’s they live in (actually they create), the beauty with which we fall prey to their illusory attractions is another amazing feature that makes the book interesting. Tiya and her various traps, some where she almost gets caught, but manages to escape to continue the journey is what makes the book interesting.
At every point of exasperation, there are two choices in front of ‘Tiya’ – one to get back to the Banyan tree (or the earlier worlds) from where she started or passed through or see the little ray of hope in venturing further. While the past always provides firmer views to hang on to, it is in keeping the curiosity of the search alive that makes one move ahead (Tiya in this case). Tiya’s plight during those moments of decision making brings out the challenges and the immense courage to wage that inner battle to move ahead. It is a tough journey to evolve in life. No wonder every philosopher cites courage as the basic requirement or spiritual evolution. Towards the end of the book, Tiya’s experiences get confusing as she begins to see highly developed but not evolved beings. The last stage before she finds her way back to the question that initially made her leave the place seems the hardest. But the beauty is that after all this struggle ‘Tiya’ returns to her good old banyan tree (looked on as eternal by the entire population of the tree). What made her take this arduous journey? What question or statement pushed her out of where she was so comfortable and seemingly happy? I will leave it to you (the reader) to find out. After all if there is no suspense in life, then what fun?
I came away feeling eternally grateful to the author for a strong and intense reminder of one of the most important questions that we refrain from asking ourselves in life. As I am myself in the early stages of my search, this book came as a soothing reminder of its importance as well as the pleasure of going through all the struggle and pain. Answering the most important question in life is why we are here?
It will make our life just like how ‘Tiya’ feels when she was back on the Banyan after all her travels. This journey begins only when one doubts the life we are living to be unreal and the possibility that reality is something beyond what we see today. Even spiritual evolution starts with a doubt – isn’t it?
Before I close the review, let me also complement Harper Element to have made such a lovely sized, light weight, well printed and well bound book. It made carrying it and reading it so easy. Hope to read more in this imprint and also more from the author.
NOTE: 14th to 20th November is celebrated annually in India as the ‘National Book Week’. As part of the celebration I am posting ‘book reviews’ daily. Happy Reading!