Saturday, January 15

Book Worm’s Report

Honestly I could’ve written so much more about the recent books that I’ve read including EPL (Eat, Pray, Love) and PS I Love You.

I did write a little in one earlier blog, but not as much as I could have. Or should have.

I mean there are a lot of things that I should do and should have done, like spend more time with mum and be more tolerant and polite with elders, not be so blunt and caustic all the time, and so on.

But as a rule, I don’t regret anything in my life.

It’s a principle for me that I think about my principles before I make decisions and not after; that is so immature and futile.

(Besides, writing about a book is easier than the other things I’ve mentioned some lines above. So, let’s start there. And I’ll get around to doing the other stuff, too.)

Before I begin recounting lines and paragraphs that touched me, I must say this… Pondicherry was on my mind throughout my reading. That fantabulous place I visited almost a year ago, and always remember with fondness and nostalgia... That was the one place where I had an absolutely smashing solitary vacation, and that was where I, akin to Liz Gilbert, went about exploring my pleasure, devotion and balance. Of course, I wouldn’t have given it these terms back then, but now they fit beautifully, like pieces in a puzzle. And the resemblance is unnerving.

I ate amazing breakfasts and lunches at some of the cheapest and most expensive hotels (like Liz in Italy), visited Auroville and spent time gazing at the Golden globe (my version of meditation, that Liz practices in India), and finally balance in the form of commuting on a bicycle and resting at the quaint Pondy beaches, churches and restaurants (you guessed it right, just like Liz’s Indonesian sojourn).

Liz meets some unforgettable people in every country, and so did I. We go about meeting millions of people in the course of our daily lives, and some stay on our mind either for a minute or a lifetime; no one completely goes unnoticed.

My most adored paragraph in the book, wait a minute, there are quite a few nominees for this one… It could be the delightful paragraph filled with profanities in Italian when Liz goes for a soccer match. Or when she describes how depression and loneliness straddle her and pull her down into the deepest hell of sorrow, in Italy again. And every now and then, how memories of her ex-husband and ex-boyfriend make her want to contact them and tell them how much she loves them, thrusting herself into the trap of bonding and exploitation again; how influential they are in her life long after they are physically away and gone, scarring her and her belief in men and relationships for life…

Hold on. You’re not beginning to think I’m identifying with Liz, right? I know I did mention that I have control issues like Liz, but as far as feelings and emotions go, more or less, every woman is 70% like Liz. It’s normal for our kind.

A few things that are different between me and Liz, are the facts that she does zero research about any place that she is traveling, and I read every map and book within reach upside down, till I know the city like the back of my hand. Needless to be told, I do a pretty good job of planning my itinerary and visiting every attraction that deserves to be seen. And my excellent sense of geography and confidence among strangers gets me where I want to be.

(That’s right, connect with me when you need to visit any place I’ve been to before, and I have been to most places in India. I’ll ensure you have a fruitful trip.)

However, I have no qualms in saying that the similitude outweighs the disparity by a huge margin. Her small concerns about not being placed at a beginner language speaking level, and later realizing that she would be more comfortable at that level, her fears about being lonely and unloved, her not wanting to be taken for a ride by the one she adores and wanting to be happy which invariably doesn’t happen when your thoughts and emotions are controlled by someone else… All these are very me…

Difficulties in trying to control the mind, inability to forget everything and focus on god, finding oneself to be incapable and strong in turns, finding something when you stop chasing it… all parts of Liz’s experiences in India that I can feel resonate deep within me…

And then, Bali. Sitting for ages with a simple old man or a loving young woman and chatting about everything and anything under the sun. Learning about love and healing, culture and traditions. Finding love when one least expects it, and trying to help someone unconditionally. Forgetting all your life in various places where you have lived and visited, and just staying at a place discovering beauty and peace in everything that surrounds you – enchanting, ain’t it?

While I write this, I wonder if I’m giving away the excitement of the book. Trust me folks, if you enjoy reading, and know how to appreciate good narration, this is your book. And of course, the movie has already hit screens. So, you could grab a DVD and check it out. Obviously, it’s not the same as reading the book, but something is better than nothing.

The other book - P.S. I Love You - made my lips smile and made my eyes moist in turns as I read about Holly and Gerry’s almost perfect life together, and how Gerry leaves behind some notes for Holly to be read and followed after he dies. Sounds depressing? Far from it. It’s beautiful. And moving.

The funniest thing happened the other day. I switched on the TV while enjoying my hot cuppa ginger chai, and voila! PS ILU was being aired on Star Movies. Just like they say about the Secret, I’d wanted to watch the film, and here it was – I began watching it at the exact point where I’d paused my reading.

Unfortunately, my fascination with the characters died after I saw the actors. Holly (Hilary Swank) and Gerry (Gerard Butler) and Daniel (wonder who) slaughtered my joy and anticipation – I’d imagined them to be really dashing.The only saving grace was William, as far as looks go.

But then, we all know books are always better than the films. Be it Harry Potter or the Twilight series or the Omen.

Wondering which book to read now… Possibly Kane and Abel that I've never read...

Take it easy!


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