PLOT:3/5 CHARACTERS: 3.5/5 WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5 CLIMAX: 3/5 RELEVANCE: 3.5/5
“There is nothing more important than selfless service. The quality of your life is decided by the quantity of service you render to the underprivileged.” The Quest for Inner Sunshine, Raghunath Vagle
I am always on the lookout for books that make me a better person, books that instill in me good values, and books that change the way I look at things. In this process, I have always tried to find out more and more books – popular ones like Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno and The Mind Game by Devika Das or the ‘not-so-known-ones’ like Myth of the Entrepreneur by Ravi Kailas and Kathy Guo.
I recently had the opportunity to read one such book that turned out to be a simple yet profound read. Read on to know what I think of “The Quest for Inner Sunshine” and how was my experience of reading it.
What to expect?
Expect a short read that offers much more than simple storytelling. Expect a book that makes use of a rich language. Expect a book that is ideal for beginners, and that tells us a simple yet powerful story. Expect a book that enlightens the reader and sets them on the path of self-reflection and introspection.
Who can read?
The book is a short read with a simple story, a profound message, and a rich language. All of these together make it an ideal read for beginners.
Let’s talk about the storyline
Rahul Singhania is the owner of Singhania Industries, which is a leading name in the world of automobiles. Rahul is a kind and gentle soul, who is compassionate and generous towards his employees, and who possesses strong business ethics. Years ago, when Rahul had taken over the reins of Singhania Industries, his father had sent him on a one-of-a-kind test. This test had helped him develop a positive and appreciative attitude towards life.
Now many decades later, his son Karan is about to begin his journey as the owner and heir apparent of the Singhania Empire. Karan knows about the challenge and is inclined to undergo the same. He believes that the legacy of the Singhanias should be maintained.
But the test won’t be an easy one, and Karan knows that. Will he manage to succeed in this prince-to-pauper challenge? or will he give in to the familiarity of a comfortable and cushioned life?
“The Quest for Inner Sunshine” is the story of Karan and his unique assessment, the likes of which are rarely seen in the real world.
How good are the characters?
The characters of the book are decent. Rahul Singhania is a hard-working businessman who is not just known for his business acumen, but also for his large-heartedness and compassion. His life is the perfect example of an ideal ‘work-life balance’, and he wants to inculcate the same principles and business values in his son, Karan.
Karan is a young leader, freshly out of college, and bursting with possibilities. He is ambitious and driven and imagines a very bright future for Singhania Industries. Inexperienced in the ways of the world, his ideas and concepts are still getting shaped when he sets on the course for a tough test to learn the true meaning of life.
In his character, we see a person fueled by his passion, supported by his education, but most importantly a person, who is tested and shaped by life. By embarking on this journey with Karan, we learn so much about the true meaning of happiness and just like Karan, we start appreciating the little things in life.
Barring the two main characters of Karan and Rahul, we see many others who help take the story forward and contribute to shaping Karan’s ideas and personality.
What makes the book special?
In an era when people all over the world are grappling with uncertain circumstances and are looking at a looming economic crisis, taking time out for our mental and spiritual wellbeing becomes very important. This book attempts to inculcate the good habits of wellness, gratitude, and self-reflection in the reader and helps them achieve a bigger and more inclusive way of looking at things.
What did I like?
Attempting to write a story like this takes huge effort and tremendous courage. The author shows us that inspiration is not a function of pure nonfiction. Inspirations can be doled out in a story form too. The fact that the book is inspired by a real story also makes it more alluring to the reader.
As a reader, the book taught me two very important lessons – gratitude and contentment. I am very happy that I got to learn so much about life from a book that is just under two hundred pages.
What did I not like?
There is a lot of scope for improvement in the book. First and foremost are the dialogues. Though I appreciate the rich language that the author has made use of, I personally always enjoy books that rely on simple and practical language when it comes to conversations.
In “The Quest for Inner Sunshine”, we see characters talking in a language that seems far removed from the practical world that we live in. Tedious dialogues slow the pace of the conversations, in turn diluting the true essence of the story.
Half-hearted romances are also not my thing. I do appreciate a good romance where the love is emoted, expressed, and passionately conveyed to the reader. Unfortunately, the book has a romance that doesn’t do much to excite the reader or contribute to the plot. Its addition is purely ornamental without much emphasis on substance.
What could have been better?
Some scenes and incidents need a bit more time and space. There are instances when events and conversations are hastily rounded off when a little more space and fanning out would have added value to the book and given it some depth.
Is the climax good?
The climax could have been better, but it was enough to bring a decent conclusion to the story. Though not enough attention has been given to make the end unpredictable and mysterious, I do appreciate the author’s creativity in giving it an open-end and leaving the reader with the promise of a possible sequel.
Is the book entertaining?
When it comes to entertainment, the book doesn’t offer a lot. It is essentially a motivational read in the form of a story. So, naturally, the focus has been more on the philosophical and motivational aspects rather than on the story itself. That is exactly how I would recommend it to be read – as a motivational and inspiring read.
In the end
In the end, “The Quest for Inner Sunshine” is a book that enables one to ponder and reflect on the true meaning of life. It narrates a simple beginner-level story that carries a profound message for anyone who decides to read it.
The final verdict
Can be read by beginners.
Pick it up if
- You like short reads.
- You are a beginner.
- You enjoy books that reflect on the true meaning of life.
- You like books that make you ponder and encourage self-reflection.
- You are looking for an inspiring story that is short and crisp.
- You are looking to gift a motivating read to a loved one.
Skip the book if
- You are in the mood for a literary read.
- You don’t like inspiring stories and/or philosophical reads.
- You are not a beginner level reader.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of “The Quest for Inner Sunshine” using the link below.