Monday, October 8, 2007

Eat Pray Love -- Elizabeth Gilbert

The book is a chronicle of the author, Elizabeth Gilbert's adventures and experiences in 3 countries - Italy, India and Indonesia (3 cities, rather - Rome, a small village near Mumbai and Bali) - in pursuit of relishing delectable food, spiritual learning, leading a balanced love-rich life respectively. And hence the name of the book.

The main reason I loved this book is because it makes for a very delightful and intriguing travel guide. Also, it is replete with tidbits of very interesting information neatly woven into the story itself:-

"Here in Rome, the pope's health is recorded daily in the newspaper, very much like weather, or the TV schedule. Today the pope is tired. Yesterday, the pope was less tired than he is today. Tomorrow we expect that the pope will not be quite so tired as he was today."

"I am trying a different mantra. It's simple, just two syllables: Ham-sa. In Sanskrit it means 'I am That'. The yogis say it is the sound of our breath. Ham on the inhale, sa on the exhale."

"In Bali, there are only four names that the majority of the population give to their children, regardless of whether the baby is a boy or a girl. The names are Wayan, Made, Nyoman and Ketut. Translated, these names mean simply First, Second, Third and Fourth, and they connotate birth order."

To describe the narrative: breezy, often humorous, extremely frank.

Recommendation: Go to a bookstore, pick up the book, read a couple pages. You will most probably get hooked, or at least be pleasantly surprised at how engaging a travel memoir can be made just through talented writing :-).