Have You Ever Wanted to Read an Entire Book Over a Cup of Coffee?
The Thirteen year-old Monk, is a rather nice book that you can
Short-stories have been around ever since humanity itself, but in the publishing world, the traditional trend has been to publish short-stories as part of an anthology rather than a stand-alone book. In the rare case when a short-story is published individually, it’s usually in a literary magazine.
However, self-publishing and digital books have changed the scenario a great deal in recent times. Now, a lot of authors are self-publishing flash-reads as stand-alone digital books. I suspect this trend will only increase in the years to come.
I’m personally happy about it because I enjoy reading short-stories but I don’t always want to buy an entire collection. It’s a bit like preferring to purchase individual songs as compared to purchasing an entire album in which you might like just a couple of songs.
I recently completed reading one such short story over a cup of coffee. It not only delighted me but also added some wisdom to my coffee.
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The Thirteen year-old monk is the story of a successful Bollywood star, Ronnie Sharma, who has achieved everything he wanted: success at a young age, money, fame, and a great life partner. Yet, he feels empty inside as if something is missing. But he doesn’t know what.
Plagued by his existential angst, he thinks of the monastery that he had visited ten years back on the advice of an uncle. A month-long stay there had transformed his life. If there was any place on Earth that would give him the answers he sought, it was the Valley of Silence, a monastery nestled in nature, merely a seven-hour drive from Delhi, yet hidden from the rest of the world, and known only to a few who were called to it.
Ronnie returns to the monastery to meet the “First Master”, the monk who had helped him ten years back. Will Ronnie be able to meet the First Master? Will he get his answers? Will he return transformed once again as he did a decade back?
Without giving out spoilers, I’ll just say that he does find the answers he was looking for but not in the way he expected. But then, nothing in The Valley of Silence happens in the way you expect.
This well-written 17-page book — The Thirteen year-old Monk — is a short, medium-paced, simple read that added delight and a dose of wisdom to my coffee. It also gave me a journaling prompt that I’ve been working with after reading the book.