Song Recommendation- What Would I Change It Too by Avicii

“Dear Doctor, If you like, you can change every inch of me. I’m just a story.”

This book by Arundhati Roy took me to a graveyard. And for the first time in my life, it made me feel safe, really safe- away from all the fears and prejudices of our world, despite being surrounded by ones who have been long gone. Sometimes, the dead makes us feel safer than the living.

Have you ever read or seen something that just subtly wraps itself around your mind, so graciously, so beautifully that you contemplate just sitting there, letting it soak you in this unexplainable warmth? This book is just that. I mean, if the author’s prior works aren’t enough to speak for the credibility of this piece, all I can say is that each and every line in this book is a beautiful quote, written with such aptness, but also this certain softness that you can just let it make you forget everything else.

From the narrow lanes of the Chandni Chowk to the beauty in the chaos of the war in Kashmir, transgenders and humble humans turned into terrorists, there is little that Arundhati Roy doesn’t write about in this book. From partition to the Sikh riots, and the impending war in the Kashmir valley, the value of human lives, and the “human scum”, she writes as fearlessly as she writes beautifully. The book is a political, social, psychological, and philosophical commentary on our nation. But more than everything else, this piece is a love story, of a person who wants to be a mother more than anything else in the world, a man who is in love with a woman who’s long gone, about life in a graveyard, and learning to feel love and acceptance in this world that’s falling apart around you.

With Arundhati Roy’s lyrical way of writing, the book takes you on a journey to experience what it’s like to be living in different parts of India, and as people so starkly different, as they are similar. If nothing, this book will teach you empathy in the very least, and expand your viewpoint over the political situation in our country and make you contemplate which side are you on, if the killers are just defenders.

“She wondered how to un-know certain things, certain specific things that she knew but did not wish to know. How to un-know, for example, that when people died of stone-dust, their lungs refused to be cremated.”

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