Pink Conch
by Raj Behera

"Even the thousand miles will be covered not by the swift flow of waves but the favorable wind of the mind."

Neil and Goldy, two fish driven by curiosity and a guiding tool called “the wisdom box,” endure an exhausting swim spanning from the San Francisco Bay, through the North Pacific Ocean and Panama Canal, the North Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, to the Bahamas, the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and through the Arabian Sea until they reach the Bay of Bengal. In a seemingly impossible effort to find the sacred pink conch, Neil and Goldy not only swim thousands of miles and strengthen their friendship, but they also survive perilous storms, ship traffic, surfers, swimmers, and other threats to achieve their goal. Along the way, they achieve self-realization, peace, and a sense of self that leaves them with fulfillment, no regrets, and the recognition that curiosity and their friendship are truly the cruxes of intelligence and existence.

Behera’s story fuses the calmness of Lao Tzu and the tenants of Buddhism and the Bhagavad Gita with pop culture references to James Bond, Zeus and Roxanne, and societal focuses like environmentalism and community. By fusing community development insights with pro-environmentalist commentary, folklore, and paleontology, this book analyzes the past, the present, and the future and provides recommendations for how human beings might interact with one another in order to overcome their differences while warning about the dangers of humankind’s ignorance of nature, mass consumption, and materialism. With its subtle political commentary—“Better we ought to be in the mode of goodness so that we choose the right path during the current turmoil”—it becomes a guide for navigating our violent and destructive world.

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