It was for the first time that in 2020 I set up a new year resolution for myself. I challenged myself to read more books. New year resolutions are generally infamous for being nothing but like those pile of clothes in our almirah which are there but are also not there. Since I wanted to be reasonable with my resolution, I kept a count of 12 books to be read by the year end. It looked descent as well as achievable. One book in a month.
I started reading Educated by Tara Westover. The book was a revelation for me as I did not even have any idea of Mormon beliefs or even about the existence of something like it. The spirit of Tara Westover is extremely inspiring and uplifting. There are moments when I wanted the book to be a fiction just so that Tara could escape from the living hell and just be a character in a novel. But it is far more rewarding to read that not only did she escape but she shines like a diamond in reality too.
The journey continued with me reading all sorts of books. From classics like Animal Farm and Fahrenhite 451 to new age fictions like Tell the Wolves I’m Home, from serious non-fiction like The Vanishing, The Last Lecture to the tragic story of Poonachi: Or the Story of a Black Goat, from Mafia Queens of Mumbai to the adorable children stories of Winnie-the-Pooh. But since 2020 was no less than a year of magic, of monster, of death and of life, the book that I loved reading most was The Harry Potter series. The series, its plot and its characters need no introduction. The world knows about it well. But in case you the reader consider it to be just a fantasy-world, a children’s book, then you are immensely mistaken. Harry Potter is simply a very well written political drama.
While reading The Harry Potter I could appreciate its stark resemblance to the political scenario of the world. With right wings howling their chest thumping call for “allegiance” to one’s faith while considering everyone else second-class citizens, I could only comment on its marked resemblance with Voldemort’s ideology. Didn’t Voldemort also believe that all the Muggles and Mudbloods are good for nothing and it is only the pure bloods that hold supremacy?
Overall, it was a book-packed year, one of the few things that I love about 2020. As for the completion of my resolution/challenge, I attained it with distinction earning 7 extra marks. By the end of the year I had read 19 books, the last one of them being The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring by David Michie. A meditative and relaxing book where The Dalai Lama’s cat discovers the reasons for its purring and in this process learns what happiness means. Happiness means to live in peace with your present. If you believe that you will be happy when you will buy that dream car of yours or get that dream job or when will the year end, you must read this book. It will clear some clouds and make room for the sun to shine bright in that blue sky.