(Back to my first statement)... In books, time flies. Years go by like a breeze. I’ve finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (refer this and this). And the read was anything but a breeze. There have been such radical highs and lows, that one moment you’re rejoicing and the next you’re knee-deep in tears.
(GRRRRR!!!! Kick me, someone!) Back AGAIN to my first statement – time F***ING flies. The twins were just-borns on page 15, a year old on page 75, 13 on page 173 and 24 on page 309. But, that’s still a decent pace I guess... In movies, they grow up in a matter of minutes, seconds even! Especially while running... (Keep your kids from sprinting too much if you want them to be babies for sometime, folks! Hehe...)
But, they’ve a story to tell after all, and a plot to share; can’t waste time and reels or pages on paltry details about one’s meals and motions. I read somewhere that most of us have a story inside us to tell, and some have more than one. Fortunately or unfortunately, each one of us thinks so. (Which is why my blog exists in the first place, so I’m not complaining!)
The twins have grown, the elders have matured further. A brilliant contemplation by the author is that some incidents become the defining moments in our lives. And we keep searching for other moments with comparable substance and importance to substitute that one snapshot. Try as we might, we fail... Reminded me of Adler’s theory in psychology that I’d studied at M.A. How the earliest memories we recall are the ones that are most crucial in our lives. I found this quite similar to the life script concept in Transactional Analysis (TA). And so many converging theories cannot be completely untrue or rubbish. Period.
The secret of the abandoned child was under wraps until almost the end of the book, when the doc suddenly and shockingly died on page 325. I thought the secret was buried with him, but the nurse visits his widow to tell her the true tale of that crazy night when it all started.
Everybody hates the doc for holding back this truth for so long. All detest and abuse him. But, somehow I felt a deep sense of anguish, empathy and pity for him. All he was trying to do was protect his loved ones from pain. And this is what he gets in return for his care and thoughtfulness. A riveting reflection in the novel is that, sometimes the very people we want to keep away from pain and grief are the ones we hurt with our protective efforts. Moral of the story - We should not attempt to set everything right, nor should we impose our judgments on others. As said before, people think differently about different things and events. Lets accept diversity and respect individuality. Food for thought. And another tidbit - Things we take for granted in our life are the stuff that someone else’s dreams are made of. So, be thankful!
I gobbled down 80 pages on Diwali day. A very intense 80 pages. I cried coz the doc died. I cried coz his son and wife hate him, not accepting or realizing the fact that he loved them so much. I cried coz amidst all this setting, it was finally he was the saddest and loneliest. I cried coz this is what happens in all our lives so often. Words unspoken, emotions unexpressed, conflicts unresolved – we carry so many things with us to the grave, and then there’s no way to set it right. We think we have forever to live, and then time rushes past us, and we can do nothing to hold it back....
Heard “If tomorrow never comes” by Ronan Keating? You must... It’ll show you how there are some things in life that you shouldn’t put off for later...
I know giving away your own daughter and lying to your family about it isn’t a sacred act, but I guess it’s identification that I’m feeling. Watzzat? It’s a defense mechanism where you start identifying yourself with a particular character in a story. You feel that person is exactly you, and his life is just like yours. The parallel ground between the doc and me being, we’re both very protective and we’ve led hard lives, so we put ourselves at risk for the ones we care about. And they hate us in return. And we end up miserable and forlorn. Life is sucha a mystery. People are such puzzles. God’s really a master sculptor and writer.
I had to take a break as I reached the 11th last page. I just couldn’t go on. The last chapter was where the family reaches an agreement, where the twins are reconciled and they move on to their own lives. And the end.
- Lonely Empathetic Princess