A Himalayan Brahmin priest reflects on his life in this dense novel.
Professor Chaube has led a dual existence–one as a Ph.D. in socio-linguistics and the other as a priest performing marriages and sacred ceremonies and offering advice. At a surprise party thrown in his honor, he receives a box of videos containing the footage of the various rituals and rites over which he has presided. The ensuing trip down memory lane is a cathartic process full of stories of happy couples, painful breakups and sordid scandals. In order to better interpret the experiences of those he has helped, the professor expresses his views on a broad variety of topics, including the origins of certain religious rituals and Ayurvedic practices and the rich folkloric history of Hinduism. He also examines the importance of the cooperation between different faiths, adding a unique cultural perspective to his study. While his insights are often fascinating and informative, they cast a heavy academic shadow over the narrative, and the religious anecdotes and linguistic histories often drown out the character development. Still, The Dharma Videos of Lust and Bust is an engaging, educational read, particularly worthwhile for its extensive discussions of the Hindu faith.
More a combination of memoir and textbook than fiction, but enjoyable nonetheless.