The litigation process forces the religious leaders of various groups to temporarily forget about their differences and be as one in defending their respective faiths - and God.
Reviewed by Pamela Fernandez
The Book of Walla is a controversial novel written by M Ram Krishn, better known as Murali Ram, a well-traveled attorney who was exposed to a number of world religions having lived in Penang, Malaysia and England for some time. His experience in dealing with the many facets of human character and his fascination with the mystery of faith prompted him to create this engaging read.
The novel tells the tragic story of Dr Shoorab, a practicing surgeon in East Tazbul Hospital, whose life and career was devastated due to a series of unfortunate and depressing events that happened in his life, particularly to the people that mean the world to him.
As a child, Dr Shoorab was deprived of a father for he lost his dad to a religiously motivated terrorist attack on a train. Inspite of the sad childhood, Dr Shoorab tried to live a normal life and started a family of his own. But one fateful day, he was almost killed by a suicide bomber in a café near the hospital where he works. This compelled the good doctor to embark on a mission to help bring peace to Tazbul. He formed a No Faith, No Hate Movement, a pressure group that would urge the government to ban religion. But even before the movement fulfilled its mission of collecting signatures, recruiting members and organising talks, another major tragedy hit Dr Shoorab. He came home from work one day only to discover that his beloved wife and child had been killed and were stabbed to death in a violent riot outside a Hindu temple.
Convinced that religious dogma caused his disheartening loss, Dr Shoorab decides to sue God, naming the various religious councils as joint defendants. The litigation process forces the religious leaders of various groups to temporarily forget about their differences and be as one in defending their respective faiths - and God. Amidst global protests calling for the dismissal of the lawsuit, the trial judge finds himself caught in a tough predicament of deciding on the sensational case, fully aware that his decision will have a huge impact on the world.
The Book of Walla is a thought-provoking read – an interesting piece of work that would let the reader feel varying emotions all at one time. I commend the author for succeeding in his attempt to challenge the reader to contemplate on his faith, his beliefs and his way of life, through powerful statements like, “Why do you look outward for a god when divinity is within your own self? You create your own reality. It is all in your mind.”
If you are the type of person who appreciates a light read and at the same time loves to be stimulated to reflect on your life, this book is for you. Grab a copy now at Books & Books at Camana Bay.