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Book Review: Life Unknown by Kartikeya Ladha

Life Unknown: A Passage Through India
Author: Katikeya Ladha
Publisher: Wild Ambro
Rating: 4/5

I believe that when you are alone in the mountains, the mountains do not miss the chance to communicate with you. This might sound scary but trust me, it is then when you feel alive, when your purpose is as clear as a crystal stream and when you understand where you belong. In Kartikeya Ladha’s new book, Life Unknown, he sets out on another adventure, this time within his own country, and explores the distant depths that burn bright with his energy and spirit. Life Unknown is like a travelogue that highlights the importance of discovering oneself and accepting the fact that humans occupy a small place in the world.

I was extremely glad to pick up this book because I knew I was in for a treat. Kartikeya Ladha’s previous book, Dreams Beyond Shadows, was a beautiful compilation of raw wisdom. In this book, too, I expected some trenchant opinions about the general norms that govern our day-to-day life. Exploring majorly the northern part of the country, the author pens down a heartfelt account of his travel. His meetings with the strangers, the geniality of the people of Ladakh, the extreme weather condition, the vibe of the heavenly abode- all these paint a picture so beautiful that for an instant, one might end up questioning his/her own existence. At times, the author deftly brings out the essence of living beyond the expectations of self and others. He highlights how one can achieve the peace of mind by travelling to distant lands, escaping the chaotic busy life and understanding what the soul desires. This account reminded me of Emily Dickenson’s poem ‘Have You Got a Brook in Your Little Heart?’. In that poem, too, the poet emphasized on rejuvenating the soul and finding pleasure in the little things, for the greed to earn more is going to take away the happiness for sure!

Life Unknown is an allegory of the spiritual journey one must embark on in order to understand the true purpose of life. Well, that not all. The book also explores the plausibility of the invisible boundaries created in the name of discrimination, religion, beliefs, caste and sex. Though these are purely personal insights of the author, I could somewhere relate with him. Questioning the norms that exist in society because of the blind faith is not wrong! But following the blind alleyway is definitely not right. The only problem with this book was its length. It seemed to go on and on.

Overall, Life Unknown is an interesting book that not only serves as a respite from the unreal fiction but also provides an opportunity to reflect on life in a new light.

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