In his “Elegy Written in a country churchyard”, Thomas Gray wrote the famous line, “Far Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife, Their sober wishes never learned to stray..” which talks about the simple life of the village people which is free of stress and worries and is more peaceful and healthy due to the life conditions they have. This later became the title of one of Thomas Hardy’s novels where he showed the wrong effects of industrialization on humanity which were the result of the shifting of people from the simple village to complex and demanding city life which eventually affects their health. In modern contemporary writing, Kshitij Dabhade’s “Dincharya, science of daily routine” is one such attempt to remind the reader of Gray’s line.
In his short but beautifully written book, Dabhade has attempted to take an Indian to his/her roots and strongly and appropriately attempts to remind every person of the forgotten rich culture and heritage of his country in general and hindu religion in particular. Without politicizing the religious aspects, he takes up the task of explaining religion in terms of science or as he states it himself, the religion which evolved from science.
Through his writing, the author has attempted to raise concerns over the unhealthy life style of human beings due to the demanding nature of their respective fields and also their own lethargy and negligence. He keeps the narrator unnamed in order to make any person identify with him and relate himself/herself to him and trace his or her unhealthy habits through him. The habits and lifestyle he follows are more or less the same which an average city individual follows. The narrator lives in the busy city and follows a mundane routine. He has achieved success in terms of running a successesful business and earning good money. But he lacks the peace of mind which actually is the key to happiness which anyone feels from inside. Thereafter, on visiting his village the actual turn of events happens.
The author attempts to practically explain the effects and importance of following the “Dincharya” which was followed by ancient people but has been discarded and ignored by most of the people owing to the powerful effect of western culture and also years of colonization. He explains it through the words of a guru who is an emblem of knowledge and has answers to every possible question the narrator could ask.
The reader is reminded of the irony of the situation that the same western society people who have casted their effect and marginalized the original Indian culture are adopting and practicing ancient Indian ways of living by studying Indian culture and scriptures.
Undoubtedly, the author himself has done commendable research work before writing the book and has written it almost flawlessly and effortlessly. He artistically uses the guru-shishya (teacher- disciple) narrative to convey his thought. He achieves two targets by using this narrative style.On the one hand he takes the reader to the roots of Indian culture and heritage and on the other hand he reminds the reader about the forgotten relationship which was most regarded and respectable at one point of time.
The book contains some very important secrets to a healthy and peaceful life which every person irrespective of religion should follow. Dabhade does begin with the idea of a hindu learning about his tradition but explains how Hinduism is less of a religion and more of a science as every act done has a scientific explanation. Other than that, later the guru takes his shishya beyond the realms of religion to understand how a few practices will only promote a healthy lifestyle for him, peace to his mind and a better, smoother life ahead.
For all the people who do not know the cultural values of Indian culture, this book is more like a guide to a better life. For those who have some idea, perhaps this book can add on to their knowledge further. This book is not a conventional story but a practical book with systems that can be followed and scientific explanations of why things are done the way the are. One simple example in this regard is waking up in the morning. The language that the author has used is keeping in mind all age groups and their ability to understand things. Since the present generation is scientific in thought, he takes the task of relating everything with science and the universe to make the meanings more clear and convincing. The author has given appropriate and good explanation to even a minute thing like this by putting words into the mouth of the guru. Keeping this idea in mind, this book serves to guide and enlighten people of all age groups from young to adult to even the older generations.