How often have you looked for a book that will make you feel just a little better, a book you can devour in an afternoon and feel lighter at the end of it? While Namaste Life, by Ishara Maharaj, doesn't shy away from difficult topics, I found it a sweet diversion from the usual dark subject matter thrown at us in fiction.
Namaste Life reads like a parable. It tells the story of twins Surya and Anjani, who leave the safety of their wealthy Durban suburb to go to Rhodes University. Anjani is studious and calm, while Surya burns as bright and uncontrollable as her name (meaning sun) suggests. I also went to Rhodes, and, looking back, realise how unaware I was of other cultures. I hung out in my predominantly white clique, as the twins hang out in their Indian clique in the book, and it's fascinating to track the similarities and differences. I mention this because I hope Rhodes students of all ethnicities pick up the book and read it, as it can break the insularity of the Rhodes experience.
A vicious assault grinds the girls' ordinary experience to a halt. Ishara has a different take on this, as interspersed with the drama we see higher powers watching and worrying over the girls. I absolutely loved this depiction of a world where, no matter how bad things get, everything happens for a reason.
Namaste Life is a short, kind story that draws you in with its unique premise and relatable characters. If you loved books like Tuesdays with Morrie or are just in need of a fresh change from what you usually read, this book is for you!
Buy it here.