Often times when you completed a book and totally fell for it, and it had been written way back, you ask yourself, “ Where were you all these years? How were you surviving without it? Did you even exist before?
Oh! with teary eyed and a gulp in my throat, I tried to make peace with the fact that the book is sadly over, not OVER, but READ. Its like my mind telling me-: “Go back to work Sonika” but you still feel you are reading, still there, in Italy or India or Bali.
Whenever a movie is based on a book, people prefer the short journey of 1.5 or maximum 2.5 hours (as in Bollywood). They don’t prefer reading. Well, Eat Pray Love came to me when in my desperate times of imaginary travel, I wanted to see Rome. That’s when google brought me to this movie. I watched it, once and then again when the longing struck me.
One day while I was listening to a Ted talk, I realized I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the book Eat Pray Love, which was adapted into the movie. She completely captured me through her words, such that I was heartbroken when she had done talking. I realized I had to read the book, no matter I already visited Rome along with Italy, twice (not India of course, because I live already live here).
It would be a lie if I told you Liz wasn’t Elizabeth Gilbert or that the tale was merely fiction. Liz was the same Elizabeth when I was listening to her. She had a grit, cheer, satirical, happy, sad, introspecting, skin piercing use of words, that I realized went into the book through her character.
The tale is one of a journey inwards. There are times when you cry and laugh simultaneously and don’t know why or if its a sad laugh or a happy tear. Its more like bathing under hot shower or rather lying in a hot tube of water and introspecting. Talking to yourself, talking to god, making sense of your life and goals, all the while surrounded by warmth.
“ You must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way you will know god”
Her words penetrate into you like a good wine. You smell something really strong that stirs you up. And then you take a slow indulging sip, savour the taste. After a while you realize YOU ARE LOVE, everything is love and you are in a dizzying affair with yourself and your life and everything or everyone that surrounds you.
It isn’t a tale of travel to 3 different places, its a tale of finding yourself afterwards. Its filled with humour that makes you ‘literally’ laugh through your liver. Its romantic as much as the cobbled streets of Italy with its feverishly handsome young men. But its also like spiritual cleansing, the one that leaves you all brand new as if you were cloned into a fresh new human being. It is also lingering, you want to wander more, you don’t want to stop. Its like talking to a person for the first time and building a connection so strong that time passes by and you never knew what all beans you have already spilled. It is also like your best friend and confidante. Sharing your feelings, reflecting a little bit of you.
“ I was not rescued by a prince, I was the administrator of my own rescue”
Most of all, the tale is empowering. It makes you fall in love with yourself. It makes you realize that you can cry alone, fight with your mind, feel lonely, devastated but only you have the power to stand up again. Its how you feel when you successfully waded your way through a merciless traffic (Indian of course!) when you dreaded driving in the first place.
You feel pride, you feel YOU and you sit and smile.