July 2008
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Rahul Reads

Books V2

The old man & his God

This one from Sudha Murthy is just another book from her. And she is a genius – for her nobleness and honesty packaged in her simplicity. It tells stories of the common Indians – painting all their beautiful and ugly faces. All are real life stories. Like the man who ‘used’ his cancerous son to beg and made lakhs of rupees, and in the end left him die; the old man in the temple who declined to take a 100 rupee note; the mother who couldn’t part with her infant girl child; father who donates medicines and son who asks for publicity; the wife who led a ‘perfect’ life and ended up being treated for depression, and so many other real-life stories which make us reflect our inner self. At Rs 150, this is a perfect gift to yourself, and then to family and friends.

The Secret

I avoided this book by Rhonda Byrne for long, since I hate anything gives impression of craving for publicity and which rides on the herd-mentality of others. Now, I read every page of this book. It is such a simple book and tells the ‘secret’ which we all practice in some way or the other – the fact that like attracts like and if we ‘think’ good, good things will come to us. So if I love others, I will also get loved. But there is a catch. If I repeat weight-loss all the time, then I will end up growing fat, since life neglects the accompanying words and will hear only ‘weight’. So, we should do ‘positive’ and not ‘avoid negative’. At Rs 550, the book sells more on our curiosity than the real stuff. But who didn’t realise: common sense is the most uncommon thing these days?


This latest book by Paulo Coelho is again a near-master piece. This book is all about ‘soul mates’. The main concept is that our soul takes rebirth in this world – and some times our souls divide into two parts. And hence our soul mates are also somewhere in this world and we may or may not see them. The aim of our life is to recognise them and meet them. But since it is very much possible that more than one of our soul mates are present around us, we would have to go through much suffering if we happen to know two of our soul mates. ((Now, whole of this soul mate thing has been explained in the reincarnation theories with much more simplicity – that we take birth with many of our past-life friends and family members around us – but in different roles. And hence my wife may come as my teacher in this birth.)) ((And in psychology, this can be explained by our stereotypes and mental impression of good and bad people that we form unconsciously.)) For Paulo Coelho to come up with this theory of soul mates is surprising. And many more surprising things are scattered here and there. Overall, it is again a very good book by the author. Paulo Coelho has the ability to mix divinity with drama, sacredness with chickens and is the best fiction writer in our present generation. At Rs 295, this best seller is for the Paulo Coelho fans; the beginners can start with some other books from his fold.

Romeo and Juliet

I read the abridged version of this famous Shakespearean play for the first time now. The story starts of how Romeo was in love with a girl who had rejected him. And he remained a sorrow face until he sees Juliet who is the daughter of their enemy. Shakespearean characters always fall in love at the first sight. So Romeo and Juliet also fell in love just by seeing each other. And in the tragic developments of the story line riddled with miscommunication and misunderstandings, both had to do suicides in each other’s memory. Good that now I know about Romeo and Juliet: better late than never :)  

PS: You know Vaidehi? There was some problem, her blog posts and friends list vanished. Can you add her as friend again? Here is the link: [Vaidehi]


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