‘Paradise Lost & Regained’ by Ratnadip Acharya is a beautiful take on the true meaning of life. We all, intentionally or unintentionally, try to find out the real purpose of our lives and Ratnadip did the same in the form of a beautifully written prose. The author conspicuously suggests that our lives have a reason and those who do not have the courage to follow their personal dreams or intuitions are doomed to emptiness, misery and, most importantly, an unfulfilled life. The author stresses this point by using the symbolism of a deer. Yes, don’t get surprised. The main protagonist of this work is a deer. The story revolves around this deer, which sets out to realize its destiny and to seek out the real meaning of its life. Thereupon it embarks on a journey filled with all kinds of aids as well as hurdles in its path. Deer as a main character not only makes this a unique book, but also the reading more endearing. The more I read the book the more I felt that I was not only enjoying this book but was also digesting some of the intrinsic lessons of life within me.
The book, in a way, somewhat seems to have inspired from ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. ‘The Alchemist’, if you are not familiar with the work (really?), is a popular grown-up fable of Santiago (an Andalusian shepherd) who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. ‘The Alchemist’ is one of those types of books, which tells you that everything is possible as long as you really want it to happen. The universe conspires in helping you to achieve your dreams if you really want that dream to come true. Although I enjoyed reading ‘The Alchemist’, it was not as brilliant as the general popularity and adoration made it out to be. ‘The Alchemist’, most of the time, was like listening to a sermon for me.
While Ratnadip Acharya seems to have drawn some motivation from ‘The Alchemist’, the storyline of ‘Paradise Lost & Regained’ is not only original but also innovative, and appears to come directly from his heart. Hats off to the author for listening to his heart and coming out with this unique book at a time when Indian book market shelves are filled up with works on romance, murder, suspense and retelling of Indian mythologies.
This is not a book that pushes you into a storm of emotions. You neither feel happy nor sad after reading this book. However, you feel satiated like a gentle breeze of calmness taking over your senses. Most importantly, it changes your outlook towards life. This book does not preach you. On the other hand, this book simply says things that you already know. Things that are always part and parcel of your life but you always happen to overlook the same in your mundane run of life. Everything in this book is straightforward and laid out for everyone to understand easily. Though the book is written in simple words, these simple words carry deep meaning.
This book is not for you if you are looking for a nice meaty book filled with lots of twists, turns and life-like characters. However, I will still highly recommend this book to you. While you won’t find suspense, drama, and other things that usually suck you into the book, there is so much to be gleaned from this book.
Such a beautiful reading this book was that I want to read it once again. But I couldn’t as many more books are in store for me. Nevertheless, I will revisit this inspiring tale of a deer soon.
A must read.