Love, a much used and abused word in today’s materialistic-driven world, has lost its true essence, its ancient wisdom, and its power to transform. Instead, it is our base desires, conflicting egos, and individualistic pursuits towards a ‘mirage’ that are constantly keeping us on our toes, and making us drift from one relationship to another. Even the fictions of our time talk of these superfluous and extravagant emotions, fueling the creation of a fantasy world that is far from reality. And, in all these, there is a whiff of fresh air – Rishabh Jhol’s ‘Lean In To Relationships.’
Set in an unconventional political environment of Jordan, love still manages to flourish in a hate-driven climate. As the protagonists, Madeeha who works in Jordan to rehabilitate Syrian refugees and Zehen who is a political analyst from India, struggle to find their true self while meandering through the varied lanes of love, including facing the monsters of doubt and paranoia, they unknowingly unlock the ancient wisdom of love too.
As fear begins to play the ‘devil’s advocate,’ making Zehen suspect Madeeha to be a possible mujahid, it also stirs the inner pot in Zehen, and he embarks on the path to find himself through a month long cross country train ride in the US.
The novel uses Sufi philosophical terms to mark the journey to self-love and explores the tensions between Ishq-e-Mazizi (worldly love) and Ishq-e-Haqiqi (love for Divine). The novel uses the backdrops of various cities around the world to build its narratives – Cusco and Lima in Peru, Petra/Aqaba/Amman/Jerash in Jordan, New York/Philadelphia/DC/Detroit/Chicago/Seattle/San Francisco. The cultures within each of these cities inform and influence the story so that the cities become character themselves, participating in empowerment and liberation of the main protagonist.
The novel is written in a highly visual language and draws from various areas of contemporary thought – politics, psychology, and sociology. At the same time, the book is written simply and flows easily so any reader can access and identify with it. The novel is also utterly relevant to changing world climate and political tensions, and how they impact interpersonal relations that many readers will connect with.
This novel is finally a tender love story that triumphs heartbreaks and sets the foundation of deep lasting future relationships.
To read the novel, please visit here.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- Print Length: 143 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
- Language: English
- Price: INR 49
About the author:
Rishabh runs a policy consulting company to manoeuvre social ascendance of marginalized communities by equalizing access to political capital.
Purveyor of wanting what you have and empathy, he has written a part-memoir, part-fiction novel series that recounts his transformational journey of turning a heartbreak into an opportunity to learn about himself and the world. He has solo travelled to all seven wonders of the world, and completed cross-country trips by train in India and in the US.