The Seller of Beliefs by Trishala D Shah: Book Review

The Seller of Beliefs is a narration of a young, dynamic girl about her visit to an unusual fair. The story begins with her reluctance to attend a two-day course, though she finally succumbs to her parents’ persuasion. As a part of the course, her teacher instructs to find, what she calls as, ‘essential ingredients’ and a ‘secret element’ from the fair. A guide is assigned to her who would take her around at the fair. Now what’s so unusual about the fair? One enters it with no pennies and returns with nothing either. Instead a jar of Punyas is allotted to each. And for every joy ride or a game, an amount of the Punyas gets depleted. In other words, the fair is metaphorically depicted as the life of an individual which one enters with the punyas he carries at birth. The fair events are set as life-learning lessons which the girl is supposed to grasp with the help of the guide, whose character is subtly woven as a spiritual being.

For whole of the book, the girl (interestingly, she is kept unnamed throughout) does one of the two – either dives into a philosophy of life that the fair event has to offer her; or tries to understand and build a rapport with her guide who seems strange to her in all ways.

Every ride or a game in the fair makes her learn something invaluable about her own life. One of the fair events, The Mirror of Gospel Truth lets her explore the purpose of her life by provoking a series of thoughts and introspection in her. And with dashing cars, she learns when to push the accelerator and when to hit on the brakes, not literally though. Every item has a deeper meaning which reflects an essential philosophy. Mostly, the guide explains what it is. At other times, she understands by herself.

The guide appears mysterious to her in the beginning. She finds it difficult to strike a casual conversation with him. He either gives a sharp answer or remains quiet. For the lively girl in her, he seemed strangely weird. However, with time, she discovers his true angelic self. He takes genuine care in guiding what exactly she needs. Towards the latter part, they get to get along very well, sharing their thoughts about love and God.

The Seller of Beliefs is author Trishala’s first book. I will not be surprised if most readers associate the main character with the author. Somehow one would imagine the author herself acting as the girl in the book. I am glad she has adopted a unique writing style, which closely focuses on the girl’s flow of thoughts. The plot moves fast, so it would be a quick read to most. Readers can certainly relate most of the lessons that the girl dwells into, to their lives as well. A few good old philosophies as love, God, honesty, life purpose, being young at heart, joy in giving, perseverance are subtly touched, I would say, in a new way. New, because it is not a kind of a literal spiritual discourse book. Rather neatly crafted within a fast-moving energetic plot.

Whether all readers would buy in the author’s view about life is a question that I must leave to the readers to decide. It definitely depends on an individual’s perspective. The part I liked the most was the ‘kids world’, a huge hall of an old building in the fair where old people gather to laugh, play and have candies and ice cream together.

Certainly, author Trishala has given a new dimension to philosophy. My appreciations to her and as a reader I am undoubtedly waiting for her next book.

Book: The Seller of Beliefs Author: Trishala D Shah Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pages: 112
Reviewed for Leadstart Publishing

This review was originally posted at my Book Reviews blog

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