Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Good Reads

Its been a streak of lovely warm days here in Munich (Edit: Well no more) ..and day light saving has added a bonus, a little more space to slow down late in the afternoon, sip on some tea and soak in some sun on my little balcony. 
While my son takes a nap I am usually found with the ipad.
What had previously been a daily ritual to go through my bloglovin feed has recently been partly replaced by this great aap called Goodreads.
 Do check it out if you love reading.

I am a slow reader. I take my time. I find that kind of peace in bed at night with my book light on. Oh what an invention! 

My recent reads are two very different genres. 
The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafaq is a deeply written book with Sufism at its core.
 My first interaction with sufism was my early teenage favorite band Junoon. But that was then. 
This book was a contemporary take on sufism.
 Although the book is full of quotes from Rumi..the forty rules themselves are quotable but here are some of the casually written lines that I highlighted.

It was the laughter of a woman who had never learned not to pay too much attention to the judgments of others. “Just go with the flow,” he said. “Let go!”

“The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practice compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back—not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile,” he murmured. “This is what one of the forty rules reminds us.”

“If you want to strengthen your faith, you will need to soften inside. For your faith to be rock solid, your heart needs to be as soft as a feather. Through an illness, accident, loss, or fright, one way or another, we all are faced with incidents that teach us how to become less selfish and judgmental, and more compassionate and generous. Yet some of us learn the lesson and manage to become milder, while some others end up becoming even harsher than before. The only way to get closer to Truth is to expand your heart so that it will encompass all humanity and still have room for more Love.”
Some people feed on the miseries of others.

One should keep the intellect satisfied and yet be careful not to spoil it.

"...never loosng time with pleasantries"

"That which can not be put into words can only be grasped through silence"

"The more she remained calm and composed, the more her children shared with her. Once she had stopped running after them, they had stopped running away from her. Somehow things were working more smoothly and closer to her liking than in the times when she had tirelessly tried to help and repair. 
And to think she was doing nothing to achieve this result! 
Instead of seeing her role in the house as some sort of glue, the invisible yet central bond that held everyone together, she had become a silent spectator. She watched events unfold and days waft by, not necessarily coldly or indifferently but with visible detachment. She had discovered that once she accepted that she didn’t have to stress herself about things she had no control over, another self emerged from inside—one who was wiser, calmer, and far more sensible. “The fifth element,” she muttered to herself several times during the day. “Just accept the void!” "

Next up, Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie. The attention to detail is superb. The text rides you to Nagasaki, Tokyo, Delhi, Mussorrie, Karachi, Islamabad, Abbotabad, Peshawar, Istanbul, Kandahar, Iran, Canada, New York, Seattle, Miami...Being a Masters in International Relations..no wonder I enjoyed it !

I could relate to it on another level too. The multilingual air of the book. Charecters communicate in English, Urdu and German..all three languages that I can understand! The Burtons, The Weisses, The Ashrafs, The Tanakas cross each others paths in one book.

From the Nagasaki bombings to 9/11. With so many ingrediants the book lost its plot sometimes but as a whole it was a good read. 

Here's a funny thing..when I read a novel I try to give faces to the charecters. 

So for Raza I had chosen the face of Riz Ahmed ( The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Road To Guantanamo, Britz) Although the author ascribes japenese features to him.

For Harry I had the face of George Fulton.( George Ka Pakistan)

 Courtesy: google images

For Elizabeth..Nicole Kidman as Lady Sarah Ashley in Australia;)

Oh and can I say something crazy?

This is James ;)

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