In Panna Lal’s mind bloomed a breathtakingly beautiful garden. It was in full bloom when he was a child—open and receptive. He had a vivid imagination and bubbling with energy, he used to play in life, doing as he wished. His garden was his Shangri-la but when he grew up, acquired knowledge, he forgot about Shangri-la. He became more and more experienced and he forgot to play in Shangri-la. His life became structured; his life became governed by time for reading, sleeping, eating, etc. but not for doing what he wanted. As he became more and more engrossed in life, his power of imagination diminished; he stopped dreaming and forgot to play. “His experience and learning became barriers to his joy and creativity — the debris that obliterated his Shangri-la,” adds the author.
Panna Lal and Mishri Devi worked together in a software company. Seemingly they were friends but in reality they hardly knew each other because both wore masks to present themselves as what they were not in reality. However, one day, while on a trip together, their flight got delayed and both opened out to each other. Panna Lal got drawn to Mishri Devi and what was more, he developed the knack of connecting with everyone, even his assistant Moti Lal.
Gradually Panna Lal rose high and got every thing that he desired in life. He started comparing his current life with his life before he received the boons. In the past he wanted good things to happen and mostly they did not. But whenever they did, he was extremely happy. Now with all his desires fulfilled, life had become too predictable. He found what he was missing in his life. It was the element of the unexpected; the certainty of getting what he wanted robbed life of all its charm. It was as if the reason to live was gone.
The author, P.S. Wasu guides us through them to a new awareness of ourselves without offering any preconceptions. What he does is to enable us to create our own paths and see the possibilities in our lives. He wants to convey that there is no magic wand to solve life’s problems. But we can live creatively and joyously if we let go, if we work effortlessly and spontaneously — the qualities that we had in childhood, we can live life here and now with wonder and curiosity, energy and enthusiasm, trusting our impulses and acting upon them.
This is a self-help book teaching us to live life beautifully for after all we have only one life to live.
(HarperCollins Publishers, A-53 Sector 57, Noida, Uttar Pradesh-201301.)