Right from the beginning I was intrigued by Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying to be me, after I had seen an interview of the author on a Philippines news channel. In fact I was literally dying to read the book for two reasons. First it was the title of the book, Dying to be me which is I believe every person can relate to and is well justified in the book. As Anita Moorjani rightly points out, we are conditioned right from our childhood on account of our culture or religion to live in fear. Fear of what others may think of you. Fear of not being able to live the life you wish to live. Suppression of the self and being made guilty about not always yielding to others’ commands slowly stifle one’s persona and the fear manifests itself in the form of disease. So in a way the book strongly suggests that in order to live a disease free life one should learn to overcome fear of any sort and be the real person you are, with no expectations of pretense.
The second reason I wanted to read the book was obviously to know how she bravely overcame a near death experience and came out victorious after a fierce battle with stage four lymphoma. After suffering for nearly four years she went into a coma, with the doctors almost declaring that she would not survive. But then, something magical happened. She became aware of her own infinite self. Unconditional love of her family and her own understanding of her self brought her back to life healed and cancer free.
The book is quite interesting, written in simple language and is very easy to follow and does not bore you with details of complex medical procedures or jargon. The best thing about the book is that it brings a message of hope to millions of people suffering from cancer. In general it also inspires you to live your dreams, be bold and live a life without fear. Have No Fear!
P.S- Most of us fear God. Why not befriend God or the Spiritual being you believe in? Listen to your conscious and then do what you think is right. I can assure you life becomes a lot better. This is my personal conclusion. What do you think?
When I picked up this book, The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri, it was with a mixture of awe, apprehension and determination. This was because I was about to read a book by a Pulitzer Prize winning author for the first time.(Correction there- because actually this was the second. The first being Gone with the wind, which I had read long long ago, without being conscious of it being a Pulitzer Prize winning book at that time). The Lowland was also long listed for the Man Booker Prize and these awards to my mind gave the book a superior air.But surprisingly right from page 1 to the last page (page no. 340), I remained hooked to the book and so I was compelled to write its book review as soon as possible. It is a tale that begins in Calcutta (or Kolkata) and unfolds across continents and covers 4 generations. Primarily a story of two boys who live in Calcutta during the time of the Naxalite movement. They live along with their parents in the swampy lowlands. The author beautifully describes their growing up years from school days to youth and dwells deep into their similarities and differences. The bonding between the two brothers as well as their complexes is brought to life. You remain hooked to the tale of the different paths in life on which they eventually walk; in a narration that’s fluid, gripping, and a command over language that is nonpareil. There being absolutely no clue at all as to whats coming ahead, you are curious to quickly find out and continue to flip page after page becoming a part of the whole scenario.
The characters are finely sketched to the minutest details. It is as if the lead characters, Subhash, Udayan and Gauri are living and breathing people whose lives are unfolding right before your eyes. They keep secrets from one another, but their individual thoughts, fantasies and feelings are laid thread before the reader in a brutally honest description. Revealing anything more of the story-line would in deed be a huge spoiler, so I wish to desist from that. Please read the book if my review inspires you enough.
Yes, there is some negativity in some of the characters etched. But towards the end of the book, we do see hope emerge and one character shines with his selfless and unconditional love. Needless to say , I’m now a fan of Jhumpa Lahiri ! And the next time I pick a Pulitzer Prize winning book, it will be not be with awe but a lot of excitement and expectation 🙂
P.S- My next pick is ‘To kill a mocking bird’ by Harper Lee, a 1961 Pulitzer prize winning book.