From Books I Loved…

Last day, while going through some of my old diaries, I found some excerpts that I had written down from books I loved. I thought I would share them with you. I have also included a bit of what I think about these books. These are lines that have touched me in profound ways, and brought about a radical change in my perceptions and outlook towards a lot of aspects in life.

“I want to be with a man who will be my bra and tampon and credit card and cook and pedicurist and masseuse and driver and muse, vibrator, comb, gardener and pilot. And I will be everything for him.”

“But there are people who really meant something, who changed my life, in good or bad ways, who helped me get where I am today. And they are gone, and I don’t know where they are, or how to find them, and I cannot remember the last time I saw them, and there was no goodbye, no decisive parting, just a wearing away, just one day after the next came and went without seeing them, and then they were no longer part of my life.”

A Pack of Lies, Urmilla Deshpande

A book I loved for the distinct and poignant way in which the life of a woman and her struggles (emotional and otherwise) have been portrayed.

 

“Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end, we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.”

“God is not an omnipotent authority that looks from above and threatens to put us into pits of hell if we disobey. God is the energy that flows through the synapses of our nervous system and the chambers of our hearts.”

“The planet is an organism. All of us are cells with different purposes. And yet we are intertwined serving each other. Serving the whole.”

Angels & Demons, Dan Brown

This is one book that has forced me to think again about so many things in life; things that are fundamental to one’s existence like one’s belief in religion. There is a line in this book that says physics is like a religion for some scientist characters in the book. That’s when I realized the true meaning of religion. All of us have a religion of our own, something which he hold onto strongly, something which we believe in, beyond everything else. I guess my religion would be books & writing. What’s yours?

 

“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.”

“Who’s to stop us if we decide to stay in a city for reasons as intangible as the glimpse of a Mughal-era tomb out of the corner of our eye as we sit in a noisy autorickshaw, or Chandra [Jain’s maid]’s lovingly made morning lassis? Who’s to tell us that the moments of grace we encounter in a place are not enough to keep us there– that instead we need a context, a future, a father, a husband?”

“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.”

“But it’s also painful to not have the right to feel betrayed, but to feel it acutely nonetheless.”

“I do not consider myself a good lover…In fact, although I hardly wish to overstate the case, I may even be a poor lover. I am neither extremely generous, nor inventively acrobatic, nor indefatigable. I’m not terribly experienced or irresistibly sexy, and worst of all, I’m far too interested in postcoital affection and conversation.”

Marrying Anita, Anita Jain

‘Marrying Anita’ is a book I can’t stop talking about. Whether it is the writing style (a wonderful combination of wry, witty and casual humour with an honest tone of narration) or the portrayal of the character or the situations described, this is a book I totally relate to. I identify with the character of Anita to an amazing extent, more than I could with any other. I share her frustration at the inability to find a guy who matches one’s concept and I was surprised to find myself nodding in agreement with so many situations mentioned in the book. One of my all-time favourites!

 

“Finding someone you love and who loves you back is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. But finding a true soul mate is an even better feeling. A soul mate is someone who understands you like no other, loves you like no other, will be there for you forever, no matter what. They say that nothing lasts forever, but I am a firm believer in the fact that for some, love lives on even after we’re gone.”

“…what a luxury it was for people to be able to hold their loved ones whenever they wanted…”

“But, Holly, nobody’s life is filled with perfect little moments. And if they were, they wouldn’t be perfect little moments. They would just be normal. How would you ever know happiness if you’d never experienced downs?”

P.S I Love You, Cecelia Ahern

I guess I have written a lot about this book, already, in earlier posts. But, considering the way it touched me, it’s no surprise that I keep coming back to it. I love the characters in it; I could see a little of myself in a couple of them. And I could relate so well to Holly’s emotions, her relationship with her family and friends. An amazingly simple book that revolves around everything that matters to us in life – love, family, friends, happiness and loving oneself.

 

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Reading Realizations

That was a random title I came up with, combining some words that came into my head. I don’t even know what it means! It probably doesn’t matter, though, since you will find out what I meant, as you read on.

I have noticed that some books are so easy to read through. As in, they do not have anything deep or complicated that involves extra thought. All you have to do is read on. You know that even if you skip a few sentences or read at an unusually fast pace, you won’t be missing much. Because what the book offers is a simple but interesting read (interesting, because, you wouldn’t be reading it otherwise). Anyway, my point is that it may not have much that requires you to think about or spend time pondering over. My best friend, Kiran, often skips through a few pages (sometimes a lot more than ‘a few’, if the book is exceptionally boring). I don’t think I could do that because skipping pages would leave me with a feeling of having left the book incomplete, which is literally true! The book I’m currently reading – The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon – is one that falls under this category. I’ve kinda grown out of the Sidney Sheldon phase, to be honest. It might be thrilling but somehow, it doesn’t hold the same kind of interest for me as it used to, a few years ago. But Merlin told me she loved this particular book and that’s why I thought I would check it out.

Anyway, there are some books which cannot be read in that almost-casual way. These are books that demand your attention, which you cannot read without ensuring that your mind is in it. They force you to think about what you’re reading. Each sentence in it maybe laden with so much depth and meaning that you just can’t read through it like you do with some other books. These books, often, make you pause for a couple of seconds (or more) and try to understand or digest what you have just read. I have come across quite a few books like that. Most of the books that have deeply influenced me would fall into that category. Almost all of Paulo Coelho’s books are a perfect example! I have never been able to read one of Coelho’s books without feeling a need (a very strong one, at that) to reflect deeply on it. In fact, I got a book of his – Brida – and haven’t been able to get to it yet because I don’t seem to find the time that I’ll need (or in other words, time that the book will demand). Sometimes, even simple books, which may not seem to be very profound in what it has to say, has made me stop in the middle of a sentence and think about what I had just read.For instance, The Love Verb by Jane Green and P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern were some books that had a quite simple story to tell, yet it struck some inexplicable emotional chord within me and has failed to leave my mind ever since.

I suppose that’s enough of book-talk. 🙂 The day’s been fine…let’s see what else it has in store for me. Before the final full-stop/period, I read a post in a blog I follow (The answers lie in the questions)…and there was this part where the author mentioned about the importance of always asking questions. And to quote her: “At the heart of every great piece of writing lie questions”. I’m a person who asks questions incessantly, about anything and everything. Others don’t always enjoy it but I can’t seem to be able to stop myself from asking questions. When I read this post, I realized that, perhaps, my abnormally active habit of asking (too many) questions is just a part of the writer in me, part of who I am. 🙂 Happy questioning!! 😛