Month: June 2018

Finding Gobi – Dion Leonard

I have two adorable pugs, but that is not why I bought this book 😊.

The story about a little stray dog latching on to a runner during a gruelling 155-mile ultra marathon run in the Gobi Desert piqued my curiosity.

The fact that she matched stride for stride with an elite athlete for nearly 80 miles made a stunning picture in my mind. I couldn’t wait to find out more about this tenacious little pup.

While the book is about Gobi, the stray and Dion, the runner, it is also about falling desperately in love with an animal, in an alien country and not have the heart to leave her there, it is about learning new emotions within oneself. It is also about how sometimes animals choose us rather than the other way round.

I have always enjoyed reading about athletes who push their bodies and mind to the utmost limit and survive to tell the tale. Here, Dion has done a remarkable job of capturing what long distance elite runners endure, what motivates them, and why they do what they do.

The book made for an easy, interesting read. I loved going through YouTube videos about these two amazing beings after reading the book. Just type any of their names and up they pop!

I was surprised that a story that captured the collective imagination of millions was missed entirely by me.

The book is heartwarming, like hot tea on a cold winter day. Read it for the real life love affair between man and his best pal! It is not a tear-jerker like many pet books but a delightful, peppy read that might inspire you to reach for your running shoes and put in a few miles 😁!

Heck! If the mutt can run 80 miles, we can surely do a few!!

Phew!

The small town sea – Anees Salim

It must be fun being an author with a vivid imagination 😊… To make up characters and give them characteristics, to decide their quirks and idiosyncrasies. To walk the reader into your imagined locations, where they unquestioningly follow….up the mountain or down by the sea.

This book, narrated in the voice of a thirteen-year-old boy, takes us into the innocence of childhood and also its acute helplessness. It takes us into a small town by the sea, where a child, uprooted from the city tries to find his bearings through a very difficult time of his life.

There is refreshing use of language here. The sentences are beautifully and meaningfully woven. The scene of a chase left me breathless as I ran with the protagonist and his friend Bilal through narrow lanes and rugged landscape, willing them to escape to safety. 😀

As the story takes shape in an unhurried manner, one is lulled by the pace of the small town sea. While it looks innocuous, this book has deeper layers that invite one to introspect. Children become unhappy pawns in the games that adults play. Quite often swallowing the screams and questions that arise…
I did take time to get fully involved in the story and many a times my pug got his teeth into it faster than me😁… But I persevered and was richly rewarded!

The Truth About Me – A.Revathi

Ever swallowed a bitter pill that lodged itself in the throat, melting into a sour fluid with every agitated swallow? Well, this book is one such pill.

In its very existence lies the truth about how terrifying life can be. Every page that gathers to become a chapter, holds within its words acute pain, humiliation, anger, hunger, violation…

The story of Revathi, born Doraiswamy is written with precision and candour. There are no embellishments, no paragraphs to make the reading light. It is one tightrope journey that keeps one glued to the story of how a boy desperately wants to be a woman and wants the world to understand this overwhelming feeling.

This is where she is completely let down… By Family and society. The life of a ‘Hijra’, it’s secret community and tightlaced hierarchy, are worlds into which very few might have a glimpse. This book is a peep hole.

How little one understands the millions who share this planet… Under garish makeup and a manly voice, lies a wounded soul, that still smiles because till death happens, there is life to be traversed.

I bought this book for Rs. 10/- from a second hand book store. It is a signed copy. The reason for my curiosity could be Rama, the eunuch who visits me near Diwali time every year, she leaves a list of things that her people need for the winter.

Over the years, I have learnt to calm the fear that irrationally arose when I was around them. It could be because Rama visits me alone and is not brash… Or it could be that I have grown….

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