Life after life. What happens the day after our funeral? This is not a topic that most of us think about. We live our lives planning for some magical future where if we just tick the checkboxes of all the things we’re supposed to do, it will supposedly turn out fine.
Deep down, we all know it doesn’t work that way.
A Conversation Between Two Authors
In my debut novel The Little Light, I wrote about the journey of a soul before it’s born on planet earth. You can imagine my surprise and amazement as I read Sanchari Das’ analysis of a book that takes us on a journey about what happens when we pass on.
Kushwaha neither questions any religious beliefs nor desires to preach. He simply wants to bring awareness to readers of the ticking clock – so that we live our life to the fullest, enjoy every moment and die in peace without any regrets.
As I read Kushwaha’s novel, I scribbled down some quotes in my notebook about ideas that resonated with me as a writer. No one can understand an author like another author. I’m privileged I had the good fortune to have a conversation with Kushwaha about some of the questions that arose in my mind as I read the protagonist’s fascinating journey through life and the world thereafter.
Dipa: A big theme in your book is the disillusionment with life in the corporate world. Deep down, we all know it’s a trap – but yet we get caught up in it. Why do you think this is the case?
Nikhil: This world has two types of people, one who rule it and the one who serves. It’s not necessary that the one who rules are CEOs, and the one who serves are employees, but the difference lies in the way they see life.
The trap lies in never-ending desire, goal, and ambition, and these are the things that are responsible for unhappiness among most of us. Satisfaction is what makes people different. A monk is happy and satisfied by zero balance, but a CEO of a big company will never be satisfied no matter how much he earns.
I agree that money matters, but only in the short run.
Only if people know when to stop, when to get out of the queue, people would find inner peace, the only way to escape the trap.
Dipa: In Arpan’s journey through hell, he encounters, “A private hell where people have to relive their worst memories again and again for decades, like a time loop.” What do you think causes us to stay trapped in our mental misery?
Nikhil: We all have a past and our versions of misery. Some get over it but some stay trapped and I think my book has an answer for why.
The real loss is when someone real close dies but only if we believe that he or she is in a better world than this – we wouldn’t see death as a painful event. I think I have tried to show a better picture of death in my book and am sure it will ease the misery of some readers.
Dipa: In your book, you wrote, “I guess time not only erases the memories, it always weakens the strongest bonds. As priorities change, so do the relations.” Why do some relationships survive death whilst others weaken? What relations do survive death?
Nikhil: There are multiple versions of relationships like the ones which are made as soon as we are born or the one we make at our workplace. These are temporary relations and are made just for time being. You can call them connections too because it’s forgotten as soon as people stop seeing each other.
But the real relations are made with love and love has no boundaries. Marriage is one of them, the relation of parents with children is another.
It doesn’t change with time. It doesn’t weaken, nor it ends even though we die.
About the Author
Dipa Sanatani is the Merchant of Stories. She delights in gazing out at the ocean and jumping in. She sees life as one great adventure and is an ardent student of the human experience. She is the author of The Little Light and the Founder of Mith Books. She works in a top secret day job.