Yathra Sinhala Magazine
yathra
  2010 cQ,s
 
 
 
 
  A REVIEW OF 'THE HEART CHAKRA'
 
 
  JODY PERSAUD (University of Toronto)
 
  'The Heart Chakra' is a fiction novel about the human struggle, encompassing many themes such as politics and war, family, love, grief, religion, mental illness, immigrant experience, nationalism and so much more. All these themes encompass the universal human condition. In conventional terms, chakra means a turning force center and transmission of energies. The heart chakra governs unconditional love, compassion, tenderness, passion, devotion and other complex emotions. The main character 'Rohan' demonstrates all these characteristics, as he journeys through the ordeal of a civil war in Sri Lanka, through the hardships of family relationships and love and the experience of being a young professional immigrant to Canada.


Rohan is a modern day 'Siddhartha' that Herman Hesse so eloquently wrote about. Rohan is seeking love and truth, in a not so straight forward world, where good and evil are not so neatly defined and the roles of men and women and how love works are not clearly known. A man who witnessed the murder of a close family member, yet he is still able to have compassion for all his fellow men, no matter race or religion. The exploration of his own religion, Buddhism, as well as immigrating to a multicultural city, leads him to interact with people of all backgrounds: An older German woman who has to deal with abuse issues, an Afghan man who dies in the World Trade Centre attack, native Canadians, Russian expatriates and refugees of all kinds, Tibetan and Sri Lankan Tamils. Rohan also meets child and female soldiers and discovers everyone is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Rohan uses religious study of Buddhism to meditate and ease his mental distress and PTSD. After coping for many years, he still ends up medicated and unable to cope.


Life, love, death, it is a delicate balance. The novel culminates in a treacherous and joyous rapture of dance that demonstrates how fragile life is and how the spoils of mortal life are superficial. And the world keeps on turning. The novel ends in an event of danger, fear and betrayal, but leads to a grand rapture of forgiveness, truth and love of all kinds.
 
 
 
 
 
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