16 July 2014

Deki:the adventures of a dog and a boy in Tibet by George Schaller

Multidimensional views of life

This is, of course, a story about a boy and his dog. You could also call it an adventure story, or even a ‘coming of age’ novel. These would be apt descriptions, but inadequate. This highly original work can't be slotted into a genre. The gripping story, told in simple, descriptive language, sparse and nutritious as a monk’s diet, is enhanced by evocative charcoal illustrations. As it takes us through the Tibetan landscape and we observe Tibetan culture, this book also offers riddles whose answers might hold the key to the mysteries of the universe and provide insights which guide on how to deal with its complexities. Life is beautiful, but it is stark. Its realities are presented in the perspective of religious beliefs and philosophy. Existence provides for all. 
If you think something is beautiful, it is beautiful.
If there is fear in your heart, you will meet only demons.
We join wandering nomads in their travels; we observe traditional life in a monastery; we even get to see
something of human temptations and depravity in a sacred environment. Patterns of nature intersect with patterns of the imagination. In short, powerful sentences, the drama advances. Harsh climate might give way to demons and guardian spirits. There are past-life connections, and little glimpses into the powers that meditation can confer. The life of instinct which animals lead is another powerful theme.
Beyond all these, this book is something of a Buddhist primer, and the concepts are conveyed through metaphors, through the adventures of its heroes, and sometimes in simple language. 
One treasure and one alone can no robber steal,
The wise man’s wealth lies in good deeds that
Follow ever after him.
To make an effort to keep wealth,
You become afraid to lose it.
Can you possess a sunrise?
Can you own a cloud?