The Unburn Desire

Monica Singh posted under Book Review on 2023-06-13

There are plenty of broken relations on earth, your work would act as a healer for those people. Author Karan Bhatia’s second novel, The Unburn Desire, is an exploration of life, death, and the afterlife; an attempt to comprehend the journey of souls and the deeper mysteries of our very existence.  Roy Subba, the protagonist, has had a rocky relationship with his family since the very beginning, and it is only now, when he is an adult and has returned home after almost a decade of estrangement that he is beginning to understand he may have been mistaken about a lot of things.  Through a kaleidoscope of intensely relatable characters and their interpersonal relationships, the book gives us a peek into the myriad facets of family, of love and friendship, and the inescapable truth of the unrelenting passage of time and the cost we pay for it.  The Unburn Desire is a journey of self awareness, of love and trust and what it takes to be human. The author has coupled an ingenious premise with realistic characters to create a complex tapestry of familial bonds, obligations, passion, and purpose.  Throughout the book, the author compels us to pause and reflect on our own relationships, our choices and our purpose. Through Roy, we experience the sorrow of unfulfilled relationships and the jubilation of identifying our purpose in life. We understand the significance of familial love, and what it means to be unconditionally interlinked with beings outside our immediate family unit.  What is Karma? What is a Soul? How are we connected to all the other billions of life forms across the Universe? What do we mean when we talk about the afterlife? The author attempts to answer these and many other deeper questions of our existence in a level-headed and engaging manner.  The narrative is complex, yet laid down in a very simple style for clear comprehension. Peppered with profound nuggets of wisdom, the author encourages us to take charge of our lives and our relationships. “A man may look insignificant on the surface but if you dive deep within, everyone has a story.”  “Almighty gifted you with a precious talent, what did you do with it?” The most significant aspect of the book is the magnificently surreal worldbuilding of the afterlife. The author showcases the different stages in the journey of a soul after life comes to an end. And, it is magical! In addition to bringing the afterlife to life for us; the descriptions of the various phases provide a strange yet tangible sense of peace.  There is nothing more we want than to be assured that all of this, life and death and everything in between, has a purpose; that it means something. And, this is exactly what the book is all about. That there is such a thing as Karma and that all of it most certainly amounts to a specific goal.  The only grouse I have with the book is the slow pace of the initial chapters. There is a fair bit of description provided to set the scene, so to speak, and at times, the interaction between the two primary protagonists, Roy and Allison, appears mechanical.  In the end, Roy and Allison find their much-needed closures and so does the reader. The ending does leave us wanting to know more about Arti (Roy’s mother) and her fate.  Overall, The Unburn Desire is a portal into a different world. A book that will expand your horizons in terms of comprehending the meaning of life and death. This book will leave you with a sense of peace and a greater understanding of the unknowable mysteries of life. I recommend this book to everyone who loves contemporary fiction, and books dealing with spirituality. What is life? What is the significance of the bonds we form in life? What is family? What is death? And is there really an afterlife? If yes, what does it look like? If you are someone who is looking for the answers to questions such as these, this book is for you.  ~*~ Get your copy here: