Sometimes a moment is all it takes for the realization to dawn upon us that life as a journey is not only about the choices one makes; it is also about how one chooses to live with those choices. It is the very presence of one that is the cusp or paradigm that decides and charts the course of one’s life.
Revolving around such profound thoughts comes a story so replete with such stark reminders that one can only imagine the kind of surreal clarity with which it has been crafted. Wayward by Dethan is fiction, unlike any other story created before. A tale of finding one’s inner calling more than survival, this is a story I’d say everyone must read once in their lifetime.
A deeply intense thought for you guys to muse upon here. Well, it so happens that we may make a decision in life with not so great a repercussion attached. And yet, how we choose to live and abide by it, regardless of giving it our 100%, is what makes life worth living, isn’t it?
Our actions, despite being the consequences of our own decisions, are nevertheless the foundation of the path we embark upon, making them an inevitability. Whether good or bad, we choose to walk the walk, and it is important that we acknowledge and hold that in the highest regard. There is no point in getting into past regressions, dwelling upon what has already transpired, and, most importantly, standing aside those decisions.
I know this is a known behavioural thing, yet somehow, as situations unfold and scenarios unravel upon us, we get totally sidelined and off-tracked, choosing to act otherwise. And yet, from the very core of our inner calling, will surely come a voice someday that will truly guide us, nudging us in spite of all odds, as to our true pursuit in life, our real inner calling.
In case you are wondering what has caused me to think such deeply intense, self-reflective thoughts today, well, sometimes a book comes across that tends to change the entire perspective you have been living with all your life regarding the state of your thoughts and perspectives. Simple in its tale yet deeply profound, it is not the manner in which the tale proceeds; rather, it is the treatment of the tale, the depiction and build-up of each character, the transcendence that yes, one needs to understand and fully empathize upon “Where do we come from, where are we going? What is the purpose of my life here?” The minute there was clarity on this, things fell into place.
I am referring here to Wayward, a story of profound and stark clarity, written by Dethan, revolving around the life of Sahil Malhotra, who, along with Rumi, a 12-year-old child, happens to be the only survivor of a plane crash. In a bid to save himself and Rumi, another fellow passenger, albeit Sahil embarks upon a journey in the open sea, it is more his journey inward, a dawning upon, self-realization of sorts, with the passage of time, that the tale highlights. A truly cathartic pursuit by Dethan. What struck me as truly remarkable here is Dethan’s treatment of the whole perception of the characters towards the scenario. It is their reflexes and responses towards the situation and their subsequent actions, reflexive, cathartic and otherwise, that amaze me with the kind of erudition with which Dethan has painted this narrative.
When Sahil Malhotra, struggling against his marital life demons, embarks on a flight to Morocco, little does he realize that this one is going to be much more than just a few hours of uneventful respite he has been trying to seek for some time. As horrible weather unleashes its ultimate havoc with the plane nose-diving and falling straight into the Arabian Sea, Sahil and Rumi, a fellow co-passenger and 12-year-old, are the only survivors of the melee. Having lost all contact with the world and society, as the two of them get stranded amidst stranger tides in the unfamiliar, harsh waters of the Arabian Sea, reaching a familiar land is just the beginning of Sahil’s worries. There are other pressing issues to deal with, for instance, making Rumi aware of the fact that his mother has died in the crash (a fact Rumi is probably aware of but chose to keep mum), or the fact that he is missing Siddharth (his 12-year-old son), holding himself responsible for his death, or the fact that Ananya, his wife, possibly won’t be able to forgive him for it and has severed ties with him for good.
As Sahil and Rumi get into a battle for survival amidst nature at its savage best, can the two of them also manage to truly decode and discover the “true” reason for this life pursuit of theirs or the destiny that has inadvertently brought them to this predicament? Read the book to learn more.
To begin with, I loved the way the story has been crafted. With a simple enough narrative and resonating characters like Sahil, Rumi or even Vincent (the guy who meets them on the island they reach and helps them make it a home), there was a kind of raw power exuding from each of them. Every scenario therein was designed to take one another step closer to the ultimate concept of “inner calling,” even though Sahil and Rumi may have been struggling away, trying to hold onto dear life for all its alacrity.
Yes, sometimes being in solitude can do a lot of wonder for one. By helping one focus and compartmentalize their thoughts, sometimes isolation can truly help one muse upon and understand the wanderings and misgivings of their life meticulously. Through this tale, Dethan takes us through those pathways of the cosmos that, even though known, are yet unsought by many of us. Making us come to terms with reality at its ethereal best, Dethan has practically uniquely carved this tale. I have to confess that I finished it in a single sitting and was completely in awe by the end. Stunning. Stoic in its message, simple in its narrative yet resonating—a brilliant debut, you have to pick this one up for sure.
You know what stumped me? The idea for the story came to Dethan when a very close friend of his was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. It is daunting to realize how Dethan has created Sahil’s world as an inspiration for what he discovered in his friend’s life. It is remarkable the way in which he has created Rumi’s character, one of the most challenging since he serves as a catalyst in Sahil’s redemption and eventual catharsis. I must add here that this is not a book or a tale of fiction alone.
A cathartic journey like no other I have experienced before, I strongly recommend this one more for its sense of enlightenment above all else. It has this raw ability to transport and plunk you right into the middle of your very own soul. Decoding genesis and the purpose of life in a refreshingly new light and perspective, Dethan has painted a tale of not only resilience but a coming full circle of sorts, something I feel is not easy to write about since it needs a lot of maturity both as a person and as a writer. Bravo Dethan!
So, I hope you guys liked my book review of Wayward by Dethan