Sunday, 6 July 2008

HOLY COW!!


I just finished this book, and it's bloody brilliant.....
Ok, granted, Sarah Macdonald had an unbelievable story to begin with, but not everyone who has a great story can tell it well...but she can. Being a non-Indian, she sees all the little things that we've gotten used to, and she puts it in a way that makes us take notice of them again, and smile with familiarity.
But her writing style, that isn't even what hit me about this book...
'Tis true that India is a secular country, but in this case it doesn't mean we're religionless, it just means that we have possibly every single world religion....In India live Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists, Jews,....and these are just major religions, Indians have faiths, gurus, teachers....I guess India's the best place to find spirituality and inner peace...if you know how to look for it.
For those not familiar, Sarah Macdonald is an Aussie, worked as an RJ in Sydney, moved to India for close to two years to join her partner who was posted in Delhi as a broadcaster for abc network. When she came to India, she was an athiest, but her stay here was spent eploring almost every faith the country has, and reading her story, I realised I want to do that too.....
I proclaim myself to be "spiritual but not religious", but the two are interlinked in a way, you can have spirituality with religion or without.....Anyway, her book made me realise that each religion, each faith, is beautiful in its own way, in its own principles, as long as it doesn't lead to fanaticism, as long as we stick to the pure essence of it and don't get immersed into the hoo-haa and the rituals and regulations...
From the end of the book, an extract:
" I've learnt so much from the land of many gods and many ways to worship. From Buddhism the power to begin to manage my mind, from Jainism the desire to make peace in all aspects of life, while Islam has taught me to desire goodness and to let go of that which cannot be controlled. I thank Judaism for teaching me the power of transcendence in rituals and the Sufis for affirming my ability to find answers within and reconnecting me to the pwer of music. Here's to the Parsis for teaching me that nature should be touched lightly, the Sikhs for the importance of spiritual strength. I thank the gurus for trying to pierce my ego armour and my girlfriends for making me laugh. And most of all, I thank Hinduism for showing me that there are a million paths to the divine."
It's true, all of it is true. I've never truly been athiest, though there was a time when I was confused, But I do know that there is a divinity, and this woman has tried to experience it in all the ways possible, and I want to do that, I want to learn, I want....to live her story, or make my own.....absorb the good in every faith, and I think that's how I 'll find that happiness or that....something...that's been missing, that happiness I've always looked for....
Of course, it will need age, maturity and experience, but I think it'll be worth the wait....at some time in my thirties, I'll remember the book, and I'll have time, and I'll be off.....
In the end, the aim in what, to find inner peace, divinity, and a destination or maybe a journey, so does it matter whether it's done through a religion, or one religion, or from a sweet faith-mix with the best of everything...

5 comments:

Janani said...

will u lend it 2 me when u get back here???curious after reading the extract....thanx.

Espèra said...

Yeahh!!
I read this book last year, got it from the school library. I really liked it. Actually, it was like, liked the beginning, then started abusing the girl around the middle and finally liked how she winded it up.
It's kinda chick-lit, na?
Looking at something you've become habituated to from another person's perspective points out the exact nice / bad parts.
I didn't quite like how she was abusing India but on the whole I don't expect her to be crazy about it either.
Working within that, she managed to write really well.

freudian slip said...

I think i know the happiness you 're talking about, i reckon ill get it at around the same time, maybe earlier, ill gt it when i complete my 500th skydive, when ill have dived in micronesia, climbed atleast one great peak and the list goes on and most importantly bedded a lot of women.

iz said...

Hmm, is it really worth it, or the ramblings of an Indo-phile? If it is, I'll pik it up. Love teh cover anyway.

Mystique said...

2 jan: obv.

2 espera: yeah, exactly. i don't think she was abusing india as such....bt yeah.

2 rushi: :)

2 iz: I found it good. she's not exactly an Indo-phile....