God’s Table: The Last Supper by Santosh Avvanavar, Jyothi Byahatti and Dr. Sandeep Huligol is a collection of twelve articles written mostly in the form of dialogues between a modern day couple, Amrita who is a teacher by profession and Robert, a doctor. The discussion takes place between them on their dinner table (the articles are aptly written in the form of Menu 1, Menu 2 and so on) and there is the presence of another character, a Godly man named Paul, who brings forth the gospels of God for the benefit of humanity. Delving deeper into myriad social issues, the three characters discuss and try to illuminate the readers in the process, forcing them to jump up from their comfort zone and wear their thinking hats instead. Each menu (or article) starts with the exchange of the usual greetings between the couple before moving on to introduce a topic of discussion (ranging from education to euthanasia, social media to honour killing, child abuse to teenage motherhood), expressing their views about it, both from social and individualistic standpoints and finally moving it on to Paul for his spiritual and holistic point of view. As a reader, I think that this is a very unique endeavour to enlighten the mass on several social issues that are plaguing our society today.
The authors of God’s Table: The Last Supper has used very simple language to put their message to their readers. For the tagline, “The Last Supper”, the authors have sought inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s mural painting and, they have made this clear in the ‘Introduction’ itself. The ‘Introduction’ also states the purpose of the book for the benefit of its readers. This book can also be called a work of ‘fiction for a cause’ (just like Dr. Santosh G. Huilgol’s and Santosh Avvannavar’s Second Heart or Titled is Untitled by Santosh Avvannavar, Kundan Srivastava and Raghunath Babu Are).
While I enjoyed reading all of the stories, some deserves a special mention like the first one, Deemed Universities are Doomed: An Education Scam Saga. It highlights the present condition of education in our country – from corruption to nepotism. Education has become a big booming business nowadays, it is no more about knowledge and values, it has become hollow from inside and all glitters from outside. It no more aims to bring about the best in a student but only prepares him to join the rat race and somehow get a job. No wonder then the tagline says, “Value of education is often assessed as value of real estate.”
The seventh article Abuse: A Secret is on child abuse, which is spreading its deadly tentacles in our society today. This chapter not only deals with various forms of child abuse like emotional, negligence and mental tortures apart from the sexual. The most important aspect this chapter points out is that, “Young people need to be taught to ‘cry out’ for help, as victims are naïve and vulnerable”. This is so very true and also a handy tip for all parents. The idea is not to shun away from it but to face it. As parents, we have to be courageous in facing it and pass on the courage to our children.
The tenth essay Girl: A Burden deals with the poignant topic of how girls are still considered a burden even today. Here, the reader can find the resemblance of Kamali from Title is Untitled (you can read my review of the book here).
My rating 4.5/5.