Book Review: When Life Turns Turtle, by Raj Supe

A title that most, if not all of us will understand is definitely something that works in the favor of a book. A beautiful and quite soothing cover art adds to that. Raj Supe’s novel appealed to me firstly for these reasons, and that was why I picked it up, though the genre had made me a bit hesitant at first.

Life is, even during the best of times, unpredictable. Maybe especially during the best times. One cannot tell when it’ll turn on its head and make the world feel upside down. Everything seems to be favorable to Indraneel’s life. His career is on the right track after two successful ventures in Bollywood. He is recognized by the fans. Even his mentor asks him to address a class. A bad first marriage leads him into a relationship with Avani, who seems to be perfect for him. Yet, when a big decision comes their way, the two of them are opposed in the direction they want to go with that decision. It leads to a breakup, which breaks Indraneel completely. Seeing the state he is in, his friend Arunodaya suggests a break in Rishikesh. Initially, Indraneel is reluctant, but agrees to it. The novel focuses on what Indraneel finds in Rishikesh. But does he find himself again?

I think everyone will be able to relate to the feeling of our life becoming upside down. Life is about the struggles and how we get through those times. I could relate to the journey. I have sought spirituality to calm the tremors during the most testing time I’ve faced, and the answers I found then quite surprised me. The book explores spirituality in a different way, shows it through the eyes of the person experiencing it. It was a journey from reluctance to acceptance, and that was quite beautiful to read. Looking at how the novel explores spirituality, I can say that I could understand why some things are done the way they are. The veneration with which we see the Ganges (Gangaji) is also beautifully explored.

I loved the cover art, though I wouldn’t say Indraneel was a tramp. I like the character sketch of Indraneel, and how Avani’s sketch is the opposite, even though they seemed similar. And each chapter adds something to the characters. Though Indraneel’s character is the focus of the book, others like Shaman and Arunodaya are interesting. The descriptions in the narration are vivid, and help the reader to visualize the scenes. But just like Indraneel’s journey had ups and downs, the pace of the novel did too. At times it flowed well, and at times, I was tempted to skim through. Some readers would feel that the book has a lot of spirituality to absorb, and others would feel that the book explores very little given what could have been. I felt it was veering toward the former. Perhaps, if one reads when in a very reflective mood, the book would come across better.

Would I read the book again? I would. It was mostly engaging and quite interesting. A journey through spirituality and self-realization, not just for the protagonist, but perhaps for the reader as well.


A Score of 8 out of 10
Book Details
Title: When Life Turns Turtle
Author(s): Raj Supe Genre: Spiritual/Fiction
ISBN/ASIN: 9789352016150 Publisher: Leadstart

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
14th March 2017)

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