Reading is a good habit I have had for sometime and it has provided me the opportunity to sample diverse works from the comical Tom Sawyer, to the exotic ephemera created by Khalil Gibran. There is one book though, which although only spans a hundred odd pages has been in progress with me for more than a year now…in fact almost two years.
This book, ‘Gitanjali’, is the creation of the twentieth century Indian Poet Rabindranath Tagore who received the Nobel Prize in Literature (as a first non-european) primarily for this work. The literal meaning of Gitanjali is an ‘offering of songs’ while the real translation would set it as a ‘devotional offering’. In essence this book can create an effect so spell bounding on the reader that it feels like Khalil Gibran on steroids. I am not saying you have to read Khalil G. before attempting this book but merely trying to get the intensity of this book its due respect. In fact, Gitanjali is much more lucid to comprehend in terms of the language used therein. For me though, I have only been able to reach page # 40 of Gitanjali on my kindle app. Why? Well. The book is so addictive that:
1) Every time I open it, I wish to start it at page #1.
2) And the lines are so well formed that each word is in its perfect (best) position. Choosing the following stanza from the introduction presented by W.B.Yeats:
“Many an hour I have spent in the strife of good and evil,
but now it is the pleasure of my playmate of the empty days
to draw my heart on to him;
and I know not why this sudden call to what useless consequence.”
And another one:
“Men going home glance at me and smile and fill me with shame.
I sit like a beggar maid, drawing my skirt over my face,
and when they ask me, what it is I want,
I drop my eyes and answer them not.”
And with all the above happening almost everytime I read this book and now again when I write this post and think about the few lines I glance over, I do feel the exquisite contentment that one feels when they just want to let go of all bothers and feel happy with what they have.
It also feels apt for me to mention the things that I feel thankful for everyday of my humble existence:
The Love I feel for myself and others I live with – at home, work, on the street, in the shop,etc.
The beautiful earth and skies around me and the peace it provides me.
The health and well being, both material and spiritual mercifully bestowed on to me.
And lastly to my father who introduced me to this treasure called Gitanjali. 🙂