After his first book “The Path of Change,” Sinisa Ubovic’s second book has decided to navigate the waters dominated by works like “The Alchemist” (Paulo Coelho) and “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” and “The 5 AM Club” (Robin Sharma). These works, let’s call them, are “inspirational-motivational novels.”
The quote on the back cover of the book nicely states:
“Through his new book “My Grandma the Zen Buddhist,” Sinisa continues to fascinate us with his fantastic style, wisdom, and knowledge of the deepest human states, fears, dilemmas, and challenges. In the form of a novel, it follows the life of a modern man in Belgrade at a moment when his life falls apart, who, due to an incredible series of events, gains new insights and opens doors to truths he has often heard in life but is truly hearing for the first time. Going through a turbulent emotional state, the main character of this fantastic novel struggles with various questions about the meaning of life, fear and uncertainty, but also with a desire for knowledge and love.
Through tears and laughter, you will come to answers you might have been searching for all your life. What kind of life do we really live?”
Was Sinisa successful in this?
Let’s find out. 🙂
Meet Nikola Novakovic. A financial expert, a doctor of economic sciences, an occasional university lecturer. He is constantly busy with business meetings and travels. He earns more than decently, but his job is not fulfilling, and he doesn’t get to spend much time with his family.
He is married and has a daughter.
But things are not idyllic. Quite the opposite!
Increasing arguments between him and his wife Ana, who blames him for the lack of quality time spent with the family, his absence, and taking his wife and child for granted (to which his argument is that he is just trying to provide a normal financial existence for his family), culminates in a temporary separation. His wife and daughter go to her parents, trying to have as little contact with Nikola as possible.
Our hero realizes that all the accumulated emotions in him have culminated, that he is sick of life, and now, more than ever, he needs answers to some existential questions.
So, he buys a ticket to India and plans to spend six months there, not even knowing what he should do there (probably meditate, fast, and talk with yogis and philosophers).
Is he going to find answers, or is he simply running away from everything, that is the question now.
However, on the day of his trip, as he approached the airport that was supposed to take him to India, Nikola experiences all sorts of unusual situations until the moment he is about to board the plane, and he is also questioning his life decisions, interspersed with arguments with himself and others in his head! Oh, it’s not easy for him, is it?
And, as usual in life, one call changes everything.
His dear grandmother (his eternal support and unconditional love), experiences a nasty fall and injures herself in her apartment.
Coincidence or fate’s play?
Nikola cancels his trip and rushes to take his grandmother to the hospital, where she is urgently operated on.
However, the following days he spends in the hospital with his dear grandmother, her wise, “folk” thoughts, filled with love and limitless patience, radically change his life and force him to reevaluate his relationship with life, career, wife, brother… everything. And how it ended for him… well, you’ll find out when you read it. 🙂
This book is read even faster than the previous one! It’s written in a light style, almost like you’re watching a movie, that’s the impression it leaves. 😊
The questions that Marko asks himself in this novel are probably our questions too. And the answers are channeled through his grandmother. And that’s the whole wisdom. No deep philosophy! Just life’s answers. It must be admitted, Grandma Zorka is a “tough player”! 😁
A few beautiful thoughts from the book:
“Love is there, within us, and everything within us can never be lost. Just because we sometimes don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there, it just means we can’t remember where it is.”
“Life isn’t yesterday, and it isn’t tomorrow either. Today doesn’t have a replay.”
“Let’s shed our coat called ego and find the strength to be kind, no matter what happens in our lives.”
“My good mood shouldn’t depend on others. My happiness can’t depend on whether someone did what suits me.”
“There’s no hurry in life. Whenever you start, you arrive at the right time. You’ll manage everything, you’ll finish everything, just don’t rush. Just take it easy, my children, just take it easy. Slowly, slowly – and everything will happen quickly!”
All in all, if you’re in the mood for a light, gentle motivational novel without too much deep philosophizing, I think you’ll enjoy the book “My Grandma the Zen Buddhist.”
And, to be honest, a film adaptation of this book in the future wouldn’t be a bad idea. 🙂
Do you, dear reader, have (or have you had) your own “Grandma Zorka, the Zen Buddhist”? 🙂
(Originally reviewed: 14/11/2019)