Authored by Elizabeth Gilbert, this one is a bewildered woman’s journey in “pursuit of happiness” after she realises that she doesn’t want to remain married. Lost in life, she cries on bathroom floor and asks God to tell her what to do. And voila! She decides to spend one year travelling…spending 4 months each in Italy, India and Indonesia in a hope that she would rediscover herself!
Italy : First stop in her voyage, she comes here to have pleasure of food and language. Claims Italian is the most beautiful language! Not sure if I can agree with her, but anyways she makes a sincere attempt of learning Italian and “attraversiamo” becomes her favourite word. Translating to “Lets Cross Over”, it has lot of contextual references further in book. Another noteworthy Italian phrase is “Dolce far niente” which literally means ‘the sweetness to do nothing’ and Italians are supposed to be experts in this. I would want to have doing nothing as a sweet feeling too 🙂
Loved the idea of every city being associated with a word and spent quite some time to associate people around me with a word, fun thing…huh!!
India: I found this part of ELizabeth’s trip least interesting, maybe because I myself know a lot about India! She indulges herself in meditation at an ‘ashram’ but it just is not convincing at all, whatever she does here. The only humorous thing I found was that another fellow at the ashram calls her groceries! Something in this part of her journey didn’t click for me. BTW, Italy part was the one I liked the most!
Indonesia: She ends up being here mainly because of a prophecy done by a ‘healer’ Ketut Liyer few years ago that she would come back and live there for 3-4 months! Amazing reason! Makes some friends here too, finds some ‘Love’ as well to spice up the otherwise not-so-interesting novel!
None of the parts were extraordinarily captivating for me but I am interested enough to visit Bali if I get a chance.
Somewhere in the book, she tells a short story which goes like this:
Man to God: God please, please, please make me win the lottery!
And God replies: “Buy the ticket”
A lot of hidden meaning in this if you can decrypt it!!
I wouldn’t say I loved the book but it was worth a read for so many things and beautiful thoughts it unfurls. I don’t agree with the basic idea of the book that she had to go at such and such place to find everything, still, I could get quite a lot from it! I would add, whether you have been in a bad relationship or not, you can absorb some good things from this one!
It had a lot of cool quotes, some of my favorites are:
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life”
“This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”
“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. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
“Tis’ better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.”
“In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place.”
“Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.”
“To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have 4 legs instead of 2. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.”
And best of all:
“You have been to hell, Ketut?”
He smiled. Of course he’s been there.
What’s it like in hell?”
Same like in heaven,” he said.
He saw my confusion and tried to explain. “Universe is a circle, Liss.”
He said. “To up, to down — all same, at end.”
I remembered an old Christian mystic notion: As above, so below.
I asked. “Then how can you tell the difference between heaven and hell?”
Because of how you go. Heaven, you go up, through seven happy places. Hell, you go down, through seven sad places. This is why it better for you to go up, Liss.” He laughed.
Same-same,” he said. “Same in end, so better to be happy in journey.”
I said, “So, if heaven is love, then hell is.. “
Love, too,” he said.
Ketut laughed again, “Always so difficult for young people to understand this!”
P.S. I watched the movie today as well and It’s an OK watch! Can’t write much about movies!