Eat, Pray, Love

Dec 30, 2013

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. This book almost made to my all time favorite. Almost! You will know why by the end of this review.Elizabeth Gilbert starts off this memoir of hers with her Divorce and a break-up. Kudos to the author for not making it a blame game or look like a peek into the private lives of a couple in disagreement. Just at the time when I start feeling depressed myself with the author's situation, she moves on to do better things, thankfully, like travelling to Italy. She is so good with the written word that she convinces us that travelling to Italy just to learn Italian, simply out of love for the language, is the next logical step for her to take.

This book is so beautifully written, it makes me fall in love with her writing. So, that's going to be the show-stealer of this review sidelining even the content.

Elizabeth Gilbert woos me in Italy with the description of her companions.
"They flank me - depression on my left, loneliness on my right. They don't need to show their badges. I know these guys very well. ... Then they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there. Depression even confiscates my identity; but he always does that.
But he [Depression] just gives me that dark smile, settles into my favorite chair, puts his feet on my table and lights a cigar, filling the place with his awful smoke. Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over himself, fully dressed, shoes and all. He's going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it."

She then makes me fall in love with Italy, Italian, Pizza and such.
“I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair"

“[Italian men] are like show poodles. Sometimes they look so good I want to applaud.”

After spending an enjoyable time at Italy, she takes me to India and then to Indonesia to search for 'something'(more on it towards the end of this review).
A word on India here. The author has the typical viewpoint of the country as most westerners have, I dare say. It might be true to a great extent but being an Indian myself, it does prick a little when I read "Man, they got mosquitoes 'round this place big enough to rape a chicken" and "Don't touch anything but yourself" and that the author travels to Sicily in Italy to prepare herself for her visit to India. Hmmm, I hope Indians and Time join hands to give an answer. And that said, she does notice the small niceties, again like most other westerners.

"The children around me are wrapped in silks,like gifts."

"..Indian women, who are so comfortably cross-legged, their children sleeping across them like little human lap rugs".

And finally I fall in love with her writing, not able to resist the beauty of the analogy between the dawn of a new year and fishing.
"It feels to me like we are collectively pulling the year 2004 toward us. Like we have roped it with our music, and now we are hauling it across the night sky like it's a massive fishing net, brimming with all our unknown destinies. And what a heavy net it is, indeed, carrying as it does all the births, deaths, tragedies,wars, love stories, inventions, transformations and calamities that are destined for all of us this coming year."

Once you are in love, everything looks and sounds beautiful and here I quote some more of my favorites.
"Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be."

"Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss."

“It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainment.”

And when she packs up and leaves for Indonesia, am all excited to know where she is going to take me, what she is going to find there and whom she is going to meet there. Medicine man, ok. Healer-friend Wayan, fine. New found companion Felipe, Ahem! So you took all the pains to travel around the globe for a year running away from a marriage and a relationship, searching for that 'something' to end up in yet another relationship?! Of course, its the authors life and we can't expect a dramatic ending as if its a novel. Still, it
was a let down that I did not feel elated if not enlightened at the end of it all.
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