Author: Himanshu Sah
Publisher: Notion Press Publishers
Cover : 3.5/5
Title : 4/5
Blurb : 4/5
Theme : 4.5/5
Story : 4.5/5
Characters : 4/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Overall : 4.5/5
- Siddhant, Sukesh, Sanchita, Kapil- The players
- Yamraj- The decision maker
- Hemant- The mediator who brings this story to light
Sukesh, Sanchita, Kapil and Siddhant die and go to Yamlok, where they meet Yamraj. Yamraj gives them one last chance to become alive again, and they can go back to earth, if they win the game: Island Game of Modern Life. The winner will be resurrected to life and could start life from where it ended.
What was the game and who wins?
Island Game of Modern Life by Himanshu Sah is a one of its kind book. It has not one, not two, but 5 stories! Yes, you read it right; Himanshu has done a commendable job in interspersing 5 life stories and putting them across as a single novel. Hemant, the protagonist, is summoned by his grandfather under the pretext that he has diamonds and tonnes of gold saved for Hemant, who rushes to the hospital more eager to divulge into the details of this treasure than to attend to his ailing grandfather. But he is bound to listen to a story which his grandfather is adamant on narrating, lest he dies.
According to Hemant’s grandfather, Siddhant, he had died at the age of 24, met Yamraj in the Yamlok and was resurrected while playing a game, which everyone must play before they die. In no way does Hemant believe his grandfather but intrigued by the unique revelation, he makes up his mind to listen to the entire story. Siddhant, Hemant’s grandfather, had died along with his team lead Kapil, manager Sukesh, and HR Sanchita in a car accident. They all met in Yamlok and found their way to a golden gate, on the other side of which was Yamraj, waiting for them.
Upon realizing that they had indeed died, each one had a shock and were desperate to go back to earth and be alive again. Yamraj gives in to their request but poses a condition: they’ll have to play a game and the one who wins will be resurrected. Everyone is excited to play the game and determined to win the same. This game, called Island Game of Modern Life comprises of 4 islands viz., Money, Satisfaction, Love and Identity, which are sub-islands of the main island viz., Chase. Each of the islands have a treasure hut. In one of the treasure huts of these islands is hidden a pearl. One who finds the pearl, wins the game and goes back to life. But the game isn’t as easy as it seems; there are multiple traps laid. Each of the islands, along with a treasure hut, also have an illusion hut that creates an illusion of being the treasure hut. Each of the islands also have three trees with black and white branches representing positive and negative thoughts respectively. Each player has a bubble and can invest the trio of time, people and money, in any of the islands. Every move of the player advances their respective bubbles through the various islands, trees and treasure huts. All for one motive: to find the pearl, win the game and be alive again!
I was surprised, pleasantly though, to realize that Himanshu has very smartly portrayed a normal modern-day life in the form of a game and tried to persuade readers to find that pearl. Isn’t it true that all our life we keep chasing identity, money, satisfaction and love? Don’t we all feel obligated to find that pearl in our game of life and understand our purpose of life? Each one of us has the potential to be a winner, but only a few are able to win. If you want to be one of the winners, the wisdom to excel in the game of life is hidden in this book. I’m sure that just like me, you too will have some pearl of wisdom to take away as you are done reading this book.
The only thing that made this book a difficult read was too much information right at the beginning. Detailed explanation of the game sometimes made me feel like I was reading not a fictional but a philosophical book. Another reason for this could be that all data has been provided in the form of text. Human beings are visual creatures; they retain memory of images more prominently than text. I would have really preferred a colored diagram and an explanation with reference to that diagram. This would have helped understand the game in a much better manner.
Himanshu has very rightly said that everything can be thought of as a game, if looked from a different perspective. He has very brilliantly portrayed that life is a game and each player is a potential winner. This is one book in which I was intrigued right from the prologue to the very end to find out the truth of Island Game of Modern Life. Such is the power of Himanshu’s script and is well emanated from his narration. Although editing could have been better, the story was drafted well enough for me to overlook this flaw. This book will definitely be loved by everyone who takes interest in reading a mix of genres in one single book!
Pearls of wisdom beautifully delivered via a genre-mixed book (4.5/5)
Click here to read Himanshu’s interview by me.
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