Books are my best friends. Mum and dad got us reading really early in life. Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Asterix, Tintin, Archies, Famous Five were my childhood companions, among many others. Most of the world I imagined was through the eyes of the many characters I read about. Bed time meant stories – if it was Dad’s turn to read, then a mythology story was sure to follow. And if it was mum, mostly she would fall asleep before reaching the end, tired as she was after a full day of handling three daugthers. I would then snuggle in with the last few pages and before long, find myself dreaming of unheard of escapades, performing acts of unspeakable bravado and courage.
Fiction or non fiction, travelogues and monologues, biographies and geographies, occasionally some history and poetry, psychology and trilogies – I can never get enough of them. They have made me cry, made me think, introspect, laugh ….But this one was different.
Three Cups of Tea changed my life. It is the most inspiring book I have read. Its byline – promoting world peace, one school at a time..so apt. That is the solution. Education. It lent me new perspectives and broke some previously guarded biases and prejudices. To think that one man can achieve so much with so little speaks volumes of what we can achieve if our souls are in it.
The book narrates the story of Greg Mortenson. An American climber who was destined to attempt K2 and fail – he lost his way, on the verge of death- to be rescued and taken care of by Balti people. His experience inspired him to open schools, girl schools in a country that views Americans as the root cause of all wars and troubles. In the heart of Islamic land, Greg manged to do the impossible.
Reading it made me realise that at the core of it, we are all just the same. We all want the same things; we are all bound by a universal thread that wants to live in peace and harmony. Live in freedom and abandon. Live our dreams and leave the rest.
I have been presenting this book to most of my friends and it is the Diwali gift I intend to give to those I haven’t.
Read more: https://www.ikat.org/three-cups-of-tea/