Author: Barry Cheema| Genre: Philosophy | Pages: 378
Bruno, a K9 (police dog), gets a human life as a reward for his phenomenal act of bravery. He can stay in this human body forever, provided he fulfils a condition in the given time. But while doing so, he has to deal with the subconscious mind of this human body, which happens to be that of a terrorist! Will Bruno be successful in fulfilling this task set to him by God? And most importantly, will he able to procure the answer to the age-old question sought out by humans?
The debut novel ‘Your Destination has Arrived’ by Barry Cheema, starts off with a monologue from Bruno about his life with Inspector Russell, how he is always by his side, and how Russell really has no one in life he can rely on but Bruno. Bruno also loves this part of his life, almost calling it successful living for a dog. Unless the encounter with the terrorist Hassan.
The beginning is captivating and I mean it when I say it because it hardly ever happens that a dog is a protagonist of a novel. So you know it is going to be different, it is going to be interesting. The cover almost gives off that feeling but only superficially.
In the afterlife, when Bruno is applauded for his service and give a human life by God, he hardly knows what it entails, but he accepts it nonetheless. After all, not always do you get a second chance now, do you? As it happens, Bruno is set to achieving two jobs –
- His constant mental and psychological battle trapped in the body of a terrorist
- Finding an answer to ‘What is life all about? What is its purpose?’
When Bruno sets out to solving this mystery, there are clues strewn on his way and acts sometimes decisively, at times, on impulse and lands with depressing or unpleasant results. I felt this was very important because not always do you achieve what you want in one attempt. But should you give up? No.
Bruno meets a host of people in this journey, and some become really dear to him – Sachi – his love, Pinky – his guru, and a reliable friend, Kumar. It is through these people and a pack of wayward incidents put together that Bruno uncovers the one timeless fact about life.
The flow of the story feels all right until you realise that some characters jump into the flow without purpose or intention. The philosophy; although brilliantly attempted to tone down, gets tad weary after a point when you start to feel that the author is stressing upon certain elements bit too much. But all done with good motive; and with a flair rarely observed in debut authors, it is evident that the author has really done his background work well and it sure pays off in building the premise.
The spiritual verve is high in this book and almost qualifies for a secondary genre, catapulting the reader into unexpected zones. And although that might be liked by some, it could be a definite put off for those looking for a light read, as the overall dope tends to get dense on the mind. It is also something that adds needless weight to the book in terms of length. With smart sprinkles of humor through dialogue and characterization, though the narration never loses interest. And at the end of the day, I guess, that’s what matters most.
In a nutshell, it is a well-written book that could have been better at 278 pages than 378. With bit more substance to the characters’ persona and stronger instances to drive the author’s core message, this could have easily been a 5 star novel.
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If you happen to read ‘Your Destination has Arrived’ or have already read it, do share your thoughts below.
P.S: I received a review copy from the author but the review remains unbiased.
Happy reading till we meet next.
Until then, carpe diem!
© Asha Seth