Monday, September 26, 2011

Forty Rules of Love

Forty Rules of Love

'Please give me a book to read for the next weeks, but a happy book' she said as she shut the last pages of Norwegian Wood, by Murakami. Its such a sad book that one, the person dies and till the end you want to just jump into the scene and breathe the air, of the quaint sounding Japanese towns that he keeps talking about. 

I stood on the bed, scanning the three layered bookshelf. Happy book, that should be easy I thought, as my eyes lingered on one book after the other. The museum of innocence- sad not happy, the colour purple- very strong and stirring, not happy, the Joke,  Milan Kundera, same not happy

One by one the names of books, that kept me company over the last few months gazed back at me.  Looking at them, I realized that it was almost impossible to describe in a snapshot the journey that the book had taken you through.

Inconsequential statements were the best lines that I could emerge with. 'thats a page turner'. 'believable', 
 'tough read' and so on. For the first time ever, I felt for the book reviewing artists whose 1 comment was plastered on the back, egging the reluctant book shopper to dedicate there time to reading the work. 

Alone in the evening, i tried to explain to someone far away what the new book was doing for me.  Forty Rules of Love. by Elif Shafak. 

Its an interesting tale, of how the book came to be in my hands in the first place.  Though, I regularly scold myself for not scouting sites on new books and releases, there is little action done. Result, that when i do pop by into a bookshop, am transformed into a child in a candy land, letting imagination, smell, look and feel lead me to a book, than a review or anothers view. 

In my mind, I believe I am somehow lead to what I need to read. It works well for me. 

Saw this book, at the airport and choose not to buy it as the counter lady seemed to take forever to process bills. forgot all about the book, until one lazy afternoon saw me meandering the rows of Blossoms, the Bangaloreans book clubs delight. The book lay there, asking somehow to be read. 

Thursday night, our relationship commenced. Sunday night, it ruefully ended. 

Forty Rules of Love- somehow left a mark. 

Ella, is a 40 year old American, married and living her life with predictability as her staunch companion. Dreams, love and Desire are alien words, Understanding, Duty and being the mom and wife are roles. Till Sweet Blasphemy, a book she is to review falls into a lap. 

A book woven into a book, takes us into the strange lands of turkey during the days of Rumi the Sufi Poet.  The name automatically generates interest but the main character is shams of Tabriz. A wandering devrish, who becomes the instigator, the trigger behind the metamorphasis of Rumi. 

Taken in by the book, Ella decides to write to Aziz, the author of Sweet Blasphemy. The email exchanges gets addictive, the opposite natures compelling, the words draw out the connection that both feel yet cant articulate. 

this love story, is a backdrop to the love flowing between Shams and Rumi. Shams challenges, dictates, loves and charms. For every situation he has a rule. A rule of love. 


Shutting this book, there was a sense of silence that enfolded me. The message, known but needing repetition was whispered once more. In the infinity of life everything is whole and complete. Our job is to go inward, focus there and the rest is not important. not real.

A book that I recommend

for me for some reason Sufism and tibetiasm/buddhism have had a strange and fascinating pull for the past few months. Milarepa, the tibetin man - now the saint. Anne, the Tibetian nun, the saga of the sufi saints ... something about the mystic has a pull that is not shrug-able.

to flowing