Quest for Kriya by Rahul Deokar – Book Review
Quest for Kriya by Rahul Deokar – Book Reviewed by Nalini
Publisher – Unleash U Unlimited
Pages – 282
Release Date – 3rd September 2014
ISBN-13 – 978-0990516200
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
SILICON VALLEY meets SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. A Thrilling Romantic Adventure where East meets West, Technology talks to Tradition, and Hope dances with Despair. Haunted by tragic loss in the 1993 India earthquake, a broken Shakti with a tenuous hold on life is sheltered by her soul-sister Kriya. But when Kriya vanishes without a trace, Shakti is unwittingly swept into a cataclysmic vortex of greed, lust and betrayal.
Shakti meets Shiva, a struggling Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and discovers that love is an enigmatic cosmic force. Shakti and Shiva are thrust on a frantic race against time through the dark Mumbai underbelly, forbidden Thailand islands, and treacherous cliffs in the Andaman Sea, where danger lurks in every shadow.
As they get closer to the truth, they realize that millions of innocent lives are at stake. Quest for Kriya is an epic saga of love, friendship and sacrifice. The journey is incredible. The emotions are real. The transformation is eternal.
Life for Shakti and Shiva, living on two ends of the earth, and the two main protagonists in Quest for Kriya, begins with an earthquake, shattering both lives. Shakti picks up her life in Mumbai with the help of Kriya. Fast forward ten years, Kriya is missing and Shakti, through powerful visions that give her the strength to go on, makes finding Kriya the quest of her being put on this earth. She’s a flight attendant and meets Shiva who’s late for his flight.
Shiva himself on cross roads, can never forget this chance encounter with ‘a slender woman with lustrous skin and dark-brown hair. A rainbow colored halo shone all around her.’ In her search for Kriya, Shakti is thrown into the dark world of violence and drugs that begins in Mumbai and ends in Thailand.
Shiva has started a new start-up that is financed by a man who insists that Shiva, Harry and Hong base their start-up in Mumbai. Shakti follows Kriya’s trail to Thailand, and with Shiva manages to burn down a cocaine production just before a tsunami hits the Thai coast.
Quest for Kriya starts slow in two corners of the world, both physically and socially. Midway, it explodes into a fast-paced thriller.
In a sudden sweep of destiny, Shakti is left homeless and alone. Kriya, the one person she knows in Mumbai, takes her in.
On the other side of the world in San Francisco, Shiva, their last names are never revealed, wakes up to face an earthquake of his own. We meet sexy Glee, who disappears soon after from the narrative, and Harry also without a last name for a long time. Only the third part of this trio’s, Hong, last name is mentioned-Lee.
The trio’s pitch to a VC has flopped and they’re desperate to get new financing to get their product off the ground.c Shiva is in Mumbai once again, visiting his parents and getting a business ready. While trying to find the missing Kriya, Shakti gets a taste of the Mumbai world of organized crime. There are a few surprises along the way, which set the stage for a fast-paced thriller.
The juxtaposition of great prose like ‘Smoke meandered and discoed its way..’ and ‘face fungus’ is off set by the few unfortunate ones ‘held a scowl on his slanted mouth’ and ‘I become a hostage who follows his whims.’ There are abrupt flashbacks and awkward transitions. These are overcome by the fabulous settings in Pukhet, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Lee.
Quest for Kriya shows the shocking reality of the Bombay I grew up in. Even then a ride on the bus was a traumatic experience for a young girl. Sad thing is, four decades later, that situation has not changed. This book was a journey down memory lane for me. Nariman Point, Malabar Hill, Hanging Gardens, Towers of Silence are all places I was once familiar with.
Deokar’s portrayal of Rocky and Vicky is on the money. It made me want to kick Rocky in the groin. His absolute disregard for women is another frightening aspect of life in Mumbai. It made me tear at my hair at the numerous times Shiva abandoned a presentation all for a good reason, of course. There is a delicate touch of humor now and then. The trio shows up in red kurta-pajamas to an important presentation because they have no clean clothes.
Shiva and Shakti personify lovers who are meant to be together and overcome enormous odds to finally do so. The ending stumped me. I thought it was too abrupt. Then it made me want more. Are they ever going to be together again?
Book reviewed by Nalini
Rahul Deokar is the author of the bestselling thriller, Quest for Kriya – Winner 2016 Beverly Hills Book Awards, Gold Medal 2016 eLit Book Awards, Finalist 2015 International Book Awards, and hailed as “an extraordinary work”, “a true gem”, “a modern spiritual classic” and “a Zen of Oz philosophy toward the Light”.
Rahul grew up in Juhu, a western suburb of Mumbai, India, famous for its sprawling beach and home to Bollywood celebrities. He graduated with top honors from VJTI, one of the oldest (founded in 1887) engineering colleges in Asia. He emigrated to USA as a student pursuing a Masters in Computer Engineering and later an MBA at Iowa State University, New York University, and Santa Clara University.
Rahul rode the customary roller coaster start-up journey in the Silicon Valley technology industry,being eventually acquired by a leading software company. Today as a seasoned executive, the excitement of innovation and passion continue to enthral him. In his debut novel, he brings together two worlds, and takes you on a thrilling romantic adventure where East meets West, technology talks to tradition, and hope dances with despair. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his loving Wife 1.0 and two adorable kids.