Religiously Stupid!: Gods of Shadow | Book Review | The Literature TodayMay 10, 2020
In the swift-moving life of the city, people tend to focus on their career, their work, and achieving their dreams. In this rat race, they forget to pay attention to themselves and the needs of their body. Many contemporary writers have focused on this theme and concept in their works and try to predict the mental state of a person who is a part of this life. The combined result of this is the psychological and physical problems that the person faces.
In his book, “Religiously Stupid: Gods of Shadow”, the author Bhupesh Dabhade talks about all these aspects, and also various ways humans resort to after facing these situations. He talks in clear and realistic terms and explains the importance of astrology and its influences on everyone’s lives. He mentions in the preface,
“Every other person has gone through a rough phase of anxiety and depression, where it first seems unimaginable to get out of it, but then it overcomes the challenges, and gets back in the offensive side.”
He also tells that not everyone emerges victorious and some even lose their lives in this battle. The validity of these facts can neither be overlooked nor undermined as there are enough statistics every year to confirm this. He goes on to talk about people and their faith in religion and how this faith and religion becomes the last hope for almost all to come out of the mess they are in. With his first-hand account and first-person narration, the author involves the reader in the progress that he makes and the reader starts personally noticing the details the author tells like he would be present to him.
In the division of 7 chapters, the author draws references from history, epics, astrology, mythology, the law of karma and its impacts, and historical places to elaborate his point. He shows the progress and development of the protagonist as these 7 chapters unfold. This also gives an introduction to his being well-read and fairly knowledgeable. From the beginning, the author makes sure that the readers get involved in the text, and the events that happen, and as the book matures further, they also grow with the book to develop an understanding of the unknown.
The author keeps swinging the narrative between the present story and the mythological narrative. In this manner, he not only involves the readers in the life of the protagonist but also tells them the stories of Indian mythology and how they came into existence. This also highlights how well he has researched through and written about everything. The style of his narration is also a remarkable factor. Since stories are something that appeals to all, the way they are narrated matters, and the author does complete justice to that. Also, the way the author has written the fictional text and yet given it a very strong realistic portrayal is commendable and appreciable. His potential to try his hand in other genres of fiction is visible throughout the book.
The book may be concentrating on the basic idea of astrology, its usage and its influence, but still, “Religiously Stupid” can be read by readers of all genres and all backgrounds. Even in his fictional work, the author has created a blend of mythology and science together. He says in the preface,
“While astrology reflects the stupidity of a proponent, some predictions do suit the situations you are facing.”
He does that effortlessly and artistically. The younger readers can get to know and develop an understanding of Indian mythology and the science of astrology while the elders can use it in their lives to make their lives better and work more productively.
Since the idea of stars, planets, their positions, etc may appear to be confusing to some readers, the author takes care and makes sure that the language remains close to the understanding of every category of reader. He clears the air in the preface by saying,
“if you want to assume that planets and stars make an impact on the way of your very thoughts, there are more to it than you can ever imagine.”
Since the subject of the book is quite universal in nature, readers of any age can read, “Religiously Stupid” and learn the things which are generally not taught anywhere by anyone in the modern education system and astrology as an ancient science must be learned and preserved as Indian heritage.
“Religiously Stupid” is one book that everyone, reader or non-reader should read to have a thorough understanding of how life operates under the influences of stars and planets. Generally, it is the unknown that humans fear. By this, they will be understood how their actions can affect them in the long run or even consequences of their past actions.