Off late many people have commented much on the fact that I love this book, Eat, pray and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Some say that a self help memoir is not what they need while some disparage the whole book, crediting Julia Roberts for its success. I had tried reading it before the whole "Julia Roberts came to India" angle and since I was in my Meg Cabot/Harry Potter phase, I pretty much gave up on it, until now.
I read it a month ago and since I have a final exam tomorrow, there is nothing better to do than write about why I love this book.
The book chronicles the life of Liz Gilbert for a year, after her divorce, as she travels through three countries, Italy, India and Indonesia. It is a journey of her thoughts and a mental growth process we all experience. I could relate to this book and suddenly, I had many of my friends queuing up to advice me on how to overcome my depression and sending me contacts of various shrinks.And I did contact one but I realised I was way better than this.
The reason I and a million other people connected with the book is that it is honest, blatantly honest about the woman and her feeling as she traverses the highs and lows of her life. Her courage and willingness to explore all sides of herself, as a person and a human being. Something, we don't normally do. We tend to love in a self created bubble of perfectness, an illusion that we are doing the right, we have what we want and we are perfect in every sense. But deep inside, every human being has this whirring noisy mind that gives a reality check now and then. It is all about how well we listen to it and how well we ignore it.
I have experienced it personally while judging certain situations in my life from an objective point of view, writing down my thoughts and all my convoluted reasons and logic and reading this book made me feel that I was not alone. There is this another person who echos my thoughts. maybe, the context is different but the basic thought process is the same. I could relate to her.
I could relate to Liz and the trauma she underwent during her divorce. The self loathing, the loneliness and the depression. I could relate to her need to indulge in worldly pleasures and her need to cleanse herself and her mind.
And so can everyone else. As humans and people living life in a world where nothing is perfect, we encounter situations and deal with them in our own way. And the whole time we reason things out, each small step there is, we think about it and list it and keep going on and this is what the book is all about. Reasoning and logic.
And the need to escape.
Maybe, not escape in the real sense, but sometimes, we all need a break from the monotonous drudgery we build for ourselves, a break to clear our minds and experience world in a different light.
And the book gives hope, a hope for change. A hope that when everything in your life is down, you will find light at the end of the tunnel.
Liz lost all her money in the divorce, sold her house, left her country and had no idea where life would take her and she found the best friends and people from all over the world, Luca who became a friend for life, Richard from Texas, who taught her to clear her mind, Ketut and Wayan, who helped her as she helped them and finally Felipe, the man she ended up marrying, for life.
The book is a real account. And the story gives hope.