Eat Pray Love: Review Part II


I loved the 36 chapters about Elizabeth's experience in India.

I want to go on a spiritual pilgrimage- visit the ‘char dhams’, Buddhist monasteries, Jain temples, various faiths, and explore and feel and experience all the calmness in the air in those places.

About her stay in India in an ashram, Elizabeth has so much to say. She talks about strenuous hours of silent meditation- hours of going deep into your mind and facing all the discomfort it has hidden in it: all the guilt, shame, resentment, sadness, anger, rage, and even contempt, lust and maddening jealousy. She tells us about the courage that all the people in the ashram had, the bravery they had to just come to that place from several countries, and perform austerities, to experience eternal calmness, spiritual transcendence, and connect with the divine within themselves.

Strange enough, the idea of spending four months in an ashram- getting up at three in the morning before the sun rose, chanting a common hymn in a group, meditating in silence, eating together, providing community service and doing your assigned duties- it all appeals so much to me. Like her, I truly want to experience this, just to gauge my strength and find that which I have been longing to find- a sense of my own self. I want to be able to feel all the emotions truly; feel all the guilt, shame, anger, resentment, jealousy, pain, suffering, embarrassment without shielding myself from them, without reacting. Just letting it go through me, feeling all the discomfort that comes with it, and then letting it all go - getting detached from it eventually.

“Control freak- we are so used to controlling everything in our lives, that if anything doesn’t go as we had planned we are so disappointed- we are so sad, devastated that our efforts didn’t bear the expected fruit. “

I loved the character Richard from Texas. He called Elizabeth, Groceries, out of sheer fun. He tells years of ‘gyan’ in so simple funny joking one lines- it’s amazing. He is just like some person I know who doesn’t give a damn about any cares in the world. I loved the Plumber Poet from New Zealand too. The poem of instruction he gifted Liz to let go of all that she had been holding on to, was the best. He made her realize that God loves you as you- as you truly are- you don’t have to make that dreaded major continental shift in your character- you don’t have to change your persona. You just have to be your own whole true self. A universal teaching you need to inculcate in your everyday life.

I have long thought about my role on earth. I have long searched what I am supposed to become. A book reviewer? An Indian? A movie lover? A lover of words? A researcher? A writer? A blogger? An IT web developer? A post-graduate? A jack of all trades and master of none? And here in this book, for the first time ever, I came across words that made me cry tears of joy. Sheer joy. It goes something like this- “You are the universe. Why define yourself in so few a terms and so few a titles and try to confine yourself in a tiny box, when you can be the universe. You are infinite, you just can’t realize it. “

To be continued...


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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