Title of book: Hemis
Author: Madhu Tandan
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers India
Cost: Rs 399
The book begins with Ajay who on a trek to Ladakh gets stranded after the flash floods of August 2010. In a flashback, we get an insight into the state of Ajay’s married life with Swati which goes as follows: “When he left for work at 7.30 am, Swati would be asleep… When he returned home after work, he would be reduced to switching on the TV to fill the frigid silence of the evening”.
The reason for this is largely due to the ‘third’ factor in the form of Akanksha, who incidentally had introduced him to Swati in the first place and who now hovers between them. It is at this point of time that Ajay decides to go for a trek. Forced to seek shelter in a remote monastery in the Hemis Sanctuary, he meets its charismatic abbot and Anna, a research scholar, who is in search of a lost manuscript on the ‘missing’ years of Jesus to fulfil her husband’s dream.
This encounter changes his perception of life and love and the book in that sense reveals how the people we meet in our daily lives lend meaning to our very existence. Will Anna find what she seeks? Will Ajay be able to save his marriage or will he opt for Akanksha? Apart from a thought-provoking read, the beautiful cover, vivid description of the picturesque landscape and well etched out characters are other points in the book’s favour.