Zara’s Witness by Shubrangshu Roy
Shubrangshu Roy’s ground-breaking Zara’s Witness has rightly been called “brilliant and original” by Dr. Subhash Kak, researcher, scholar, author, professor and world authority on Indo-European studies and Information Science. In impact, Zara will smile in the company of Bach’s Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, St Exupéry’s The Little Prince, Gibran’s The Prophet and Coelho’s The Alchemist. After the ersatz blossoming of Maharesh Yogi and Ravi Shankar nudged by the Beatles’ self- grafting, this is a breath of fresh air blown from India’s multi-millennial civilization. It tests the reader’s focus and throws a challenge to finish it and, titillating dormant mechanisms fretting over the essentials of Being.
Reading Zara is not for the faint-hearted.
Yet, Roy is kind, and in the footsteps of Ezra Pound and Eliot he, too, explains, though not in footnotes but in his End Note, which is worth the wait.
Ancient Indic wisdom is often retrieved from an interlocking framework of overlapping stories in which birth, name changes, and mutation predate, exceed and outshine Gabriel Garcia Marques’ adored time travel and, Zara does full justice to that convention, enhanced by the author’s own talent at crafting and orchestrating twists in the meticulous plotting.
Roy has taken “… the four stages of life as per ancient Indic wisdom: the Brahmacharya Ashrama, the Grihastha Ashrama, the Vanaprastha Ashrama and finally the Sannyasa Ashrama” and reversed the order in his courageous undertaking. To fully appreciate the scope of his philosophical intrepidity requires, of course, proportionate courage and fortitude on the part of the reader!
Yet, Roy does not hesitate to take icons from popular western culture, strip them to the bone and let them loose to find their own place within the core and expression of his Indic perception.
And at the end of the day, Zara’s Witness is a father’s loving care for his daughter, miles ahead of General Ingles’ Soldier’s Prayer for his son.
Why did I have to be submitted to a whole series of eeks, outahs, remembahs, wannas, lotsas outas etc of the ‘hey daddy-O’ hip era? Roy’s plums of peace seek shores of peace where the tired, poor, huddled masses can land, to breathe freely and attain peace for the sum of their existence.
Zen, Daddy-O, and thanks for an enriching read!
Meet the author and his work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWob5PXfMdw