November 22, 2011

Shantaram (1)

I am reading a truly amazing book at the moment.
How do I know its amazing?
Because I am sticking post-it notes through it for further reference.
I know. Weird right?
But it really is the kind of book that makes you want to post-it note it.
Loved Twilight, didn't post-it note it.

(Although between you and me, I'm pretty sure my dear friend Amy highlighted one of the most romantic scenes...romantic vampire scene...)

Author: Gregory David Roberts.

Its set in Bombay, India (making my desire to travel to India even stronger) and is the personal narrative of a fugitive on the run from an Australian prison after being convicted of armed robbery.

I told my flatmate tonight about just how incredible I am finding it and even though she hasn't read it, she englightened me that it is actually based on a true story and the author in fact wrote the book 3 times after prison guards trashed the first 2 versions (and yes I did realise just now this is written in the blurb, somehow missed it). So intrigued have I been, I googled the book and the author has a website all about his life and what hes doing well as there being numerous other posts on the internet by various other people. I am saving all these to read after I have finished the book, do not want to risk spoiling any part of the story.

So as I read anything interesting, thought provoking or perhaps even disturbing in this book (and I anticipate there to be quite a bit) ....I am going to share some of these parts with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, or that they even stir some of the thoughts which the words have within me. And if you've read the book already, I would just love to hear what you thought of it....

Page 123:

It was only there, in the village in India, on that first night, adrift on the raft of murmuring voices, and my eyes filled with stars; only then, when another mans father reached out to comfort me, and placed a poor farmer's rough calloused hand on my shoulder; only there and then did I see and feel the torment of what i'd done, and what i'd become-the pain, and the fear, and the waste, the stupid, unforgiveable waste of it all. My heart broke on its shame and sorrow. I suddenly knew how much crying there was in me, and how little love. I knew, at last, how lonely I was.
But I couldnt respond to it. My culture had taught me all the wrong things well. So I lay completely still, and gave no reaction at all. But the sold has no culture. The soul has no nations. The soul has no colour or accent, or way of life. The soul is forever. The soul is one. And when the heart has its moment of truth and sorrow, the soul can't be stilled.

I clenched my teeth againstthe stars. I closed my eyes. I surrendered to sleep.One of the reasons why we crave love, and seek it so desperately, it that love is the ony cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorry. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you feel them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you.

-Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts

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