Even though I did try to regain myself, it took me another year and half to find the drive to write something further. And this sudden inspiration has been derived from a book that I finished reading yesterday. 🙂 Being the complete book-lover that I am, I have an inexplicable and amusing attachment to books. Yesterday, I finished reading the book “A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini…and I have to admit, it moved me to tears. Some books stay in your head for a long time after you have read them, the characters keep coming back to you…somehow, you feel attached to them, feeling their emotions, experiencing their pain and happiness… That led me to the thought of how some books can leave an impact on your thoughts, how you can never forget them even after reading up a lot of other books. And I thought I would write about some such books that have made an impact on me, shaped my thoughts into what they are now.
It’s in no particular order, I’m just writing out all that comes to my mind.
There’s ‘The Monk Who Sold Hid Ferrari’ by Robin S Sharma. It is one book that is responsible for causing a very significant change in the way I think. Whenever I find myself in some disheartening situation, I think of some thoughts that I read in the book…and I always feel a lot more strong at heart, inspired to move on. I cannot fully explain the effect that book has had on my thoughts. It set me thinking in ways I never would have thought of otherwise. It taught me the meaning of living each day as if it’s your last and the importance of doing what we love. Another recurring thought in the book was “What are we so busy about?”… We seem to have no time for anything much and complain about hectic schedules. But spend a moment to think about what exactly you are so busy about, and you will be surprised to find that you are left with no answer! Intriguing, isn’t it? 🙂 Now, you know why I love the book. It has led me to think at a far higher level than I ever thought I would be capable of.
Another book I always name as one of the most influential in my life is ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. It made me realize that dreams actually have the power to materialize if you really desire for it. Knowing that has changed a lot for me, it led me to believe in the power of dreams. In fact, I love most books by Paulo Coelho for his insightful thoughts. He is one author who has made me think deeply about a lot of profound aspects of life. His book ‘Veronika Decides to Die’ instilled in me a zeal to live life… ‘The Zahir’ taught me a lot about love. It’s such a small word but one with immense depth and implications…something that we have never been able to understand fully. After reading ‘The Zahir’, I have come to think of love as an energy connecting all of us, one of the most basic and powerful emotions a being is capable of. I believe it is people who complicate the concept of love. Why does love have to be seen as something so linked to pain, commitment, worry? Why do we perceive love as something like being chained? Why can’t love just mean love…just that…a strong, omnipotent emotion you feel for another, connecting you to another soul?
Coming back to books, ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold is one book that absolutely refuses to leave my mind. If you ask me what exactly I imbibed from it, I have no definite answer. I may not have learnt anything new or meaningful but it is and will always be one book that is special for me. Maybe it is the way it is written, from the point of view of a dead girl, looking down at her family from heaven… Maybe it is the clarity and profundity of the thoughts… Whatever it maybe, it’s a book that I can never forget.
Then, there’s ‘The Love Verb’ by Jane Green. It’s a very simple story about how a woman who is diagnosed with cancer is taken care of by her family and friends. But I was able to relate to some of the characters at a very deep level. I found a little of myself in almost all the characters and reading it was a very moving experience for me. Sometimes, you love certain books for that, for giving you a different experience. But then, I wonder if, nowadays, people actually bother to take the time to discover the sheer experience that a book could give them. Everyone’s busy, remember?
‘Marrying Anita’ by Anita Jain was a book I read a few weeks ago. And I just cannot seem to stop talking about it. Apart from the fact that I loved the writing style, the language and the wit used by the author, I’m totally in love with the thoughts in it… My diary is filled with lines I loved from the book. And what made me so attached to this book is the fact that the author is so much like me in her way of thinking and perceptions. In most books I’ve read so far, woman is portrayed as someone who takes care of another person, loves, suffers, endures and finds strength in these sufferings. What I mean to say is, I feel woman is mostly portrayed as someone strong in the emotional realm…her intellectual abilities and needs are very often ignored or unnoticed. But this book – Marrying Anita- talks about how a man sees a woman more as an emotional being, as someone meant for casual or trivial conversation, household chores, family stuff and of course, sex… and how a woman is actually capable of a lot more than just that… how she can (and would love to) have intellectual conversations, how she would like a guy to see that she is capable of it… Then, the book talks about marriage in a completely new context – as something that is not necessary for living. Honestly speaking, I feel the book echoes exactly what I have in mind regarding a lot of issues, especially marriage. The knowledge that there are others out there who think like me has given me a lot of motivation to voice my thoughts openly. I don’t see a necessity for marriage, I think it is the personal choice of individuals. Of course, Indian culture views marriage as an integral part of life, but I completely disagree. Apart from these thoughts, I also loved the absolute gypsy-like life the author leads in the book…and I should say I’m tremendously inspired. The book has a made a great impact on me, led me to ponder over a lot of aspects of life that I had overlooked for so long. (More about that coming up later :D) I thought I would write out a couple of my favourite passages from the book…
“..He is the type of man who means it when he asks, “How are you?” and then listens to the answer. Men will never understand that this is one of the sexiest things a man can say to a woman.”
“Perhaps it is the constant stripping down and building up again of a life that appeals to me, like a snake shedding its skin every few years. I think : When does my life go on autopilot? Maybe it never does, because I start getting restless when I’m too settled. There’s something in the gypsydom that I need, that is fundamental to who I am.”
And there, I have reached the end of my list of most impactful/influential books in my life. 🙂 Before I stop, I should say, I feel a kind of overpowering peace and happiness within, now that I have written out something after so long. I’m actually glad that I wrote out all this, even though it might be my usual bullshit. 😀 In a blog post I read recently, the writer describes that he gets a ‘kick’ from writing… I think I have just rediscovered what he meant!! 🙂
Till next time, keep smiling… Live life, stay happy… and try to spend time for what matters most to you.