BOOK TITLE : NO TURNING BACK
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BOOK DESCRIPTION :
Love never leaves.
In India, Swaminathan is a gentle and loving husband to Shanthi. Determined to be a good man to her, Swaminathan is unfortunately subject to Shanthi’s domineering abuse. When their daughter is born, Swaminathan knows he must present a good example to her, despite his wife’s behavior.
But Shanthi hurts their daughter whenever she’s mad at Swaminathan, and he can’t take it anymore. He decides to leave the house and his family. When he reaches Kanchipuram, a town famous for its temples, he meets a priest and asks him for a rented house. The priest also teaches him about the ways of the priesthood, and soon enough, Swaminathan himself becomes a priest. Six years later, a family friend named Ramanathan bumps into him and is determined to reunite Swaminathan with his family.
No Turning Back is a thought-provoking look at marriage, love and the enduring power of family. In this compelling tale, pain and pleasure exist side by side. But no matter how far one man may stray, the love of his family will always be his guiding light.
FIRST CHAPTER :
1. Ramanathan gingerly opened the package and took out a handful of puffed rice flakes. He started absentmindedly dropping them little by little into the water. The fishes gathered around the rice flakes and greedily gobbled them up.
Ramanathan saw a familiar face nearby, but he could not recall the man’s name, nor did he have a clue as to where he had met him. What is the man doing here in this temple in Kanchipuram. Is he working here as the temple priest ? Racking his brain, Ramanathan continued scattering the rice flakes until he realized that the package was empty.
Ramanathan was fifty-five years old. After his voluntary retirement, he spent his time doing social service. This gave him peace of mind and a sense of fulfillment in life. Slowly, the news about his helping nature got around and people came to him and confided their problems. Ramanathan was quick to offer his valuable advice and suggestions. At times, he even went out of his way to find a solution to their woes, be it obtaining a seat in a school or college, finding a suitable marriage alliance for their children, a settlement of dispute between spouses or bringing an end to petty quarrels on the streets either between children or grownups. When people lauded him for his philanthropic activities, he would simply say, "To God be the praise. I am an instrument of His!"
An the beginning of every New Year, Ramanathan went on a short pilgrimage to obtain the blessings of God. This year, he came to Kanchipuram, a town 75 kms away from Chennai City, where he lived. He had finished his visit to all the temples and finally ended at the Karchapeshwarar Temple where the God is in the form of a tortoise. At the entrance there was a small Vinayagar Temple. This God with an elephantine countenance fascinated him and Ramanathan entered to obtain the blessings of Lord Vinayagar. He stood there among the crowd praying as the young priest chanted the mantras(sacred poems). And when at last Ramanathan received the Prasad(holy food) from the priest, he was startled. The face of the man looked very familiar and he at once realized he had met him earlier. But Ramanathan was not sure where they had met. Being Sankata Chaturthi, an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Vinayagar, the temple was very crowded and the man was rather busy. Wishing to clear his doubts later on, Ramanathan decided to come round the temple. After making three rounds, he felt tired and therefore sat on the steps of the cool water tank at the entrance of the temple.
While he brooded about the familiar face, he cursed his poor memory, which of late was failing him and messing up his life. He decided it was high time that he did something about it. But right now his curiosity got the better of him, and he was bent upon knowing more about the priest. He stood up and started walking slowly in his direction.
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