Saturday, June 11, 2011

Eat Pray Love

When a friend gave me her copy of one of those self-help books (whose name I don't remember now) several weeks ago, I took it with much skepticism. Somehow, I find self-help books terribly patronising. As if (?) someone else can tell you what is wrong with your life and how you can make it better. Needless to say, several more weeks later, I finally returned it without reading more than a few pages. And no, it wasn't 'Eat Pray Love', the book whose title is also the title of this blog post.

I borrowed (from that same friend) 'Eat Pray Love' (EPL) about 2-3 weeks ago; about a week after I returned that self-help book without reading as much as a chapter. Of course, I knew all about Elizabeth Gilbert's EPL - one woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia. I'd wanted to read it ever since it was first published and even wanted to watch the movie when it released but never got around to doing both. So much for wanting. What's this blog post all about then? Not a much delayed book review for sure.

For me, EPL was that much-needed self-help book I should have read about three years ago. Or maybe two. Or it could have been the book I should have written sometime last year. I could easily be (and I'm sure so could a whole bunch of folks out there) the male to Elizabeth Gilbert's female (self) protagonist in EPL.

My 'eat' was/is this unexplained passion for cooking I discovered about two years ago. My 'love' was, and still is, going through a journey of self-discovery across two continents and two cities. And 'pray'? Now that's what I'm yet to figure. Unlike Elizabeth, I didn't take off for a year to live in three cities in three countries. My version of Eat Pray Love took me from Bombay to London and brought me back to Bombay (with much reluctance) just short of a fortnight about a year ago. Unlike Elizabeth, I reclaimed my happiness (somewhat) right here in Bombay.      

I know this may seem rather abrupt but that's all I have to say right now... those of you who know me well enough will know what this post is all about. I hope.

Finally, I'd just like to leave all of you with these three excerpts from 'Eat Pray Love': 
"... she says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it."

"In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices."

"L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle."

Go figure.

Photo courtesy: elizabethgilbert.com

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