My current book is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

I am now reading Shantaram, and I am so glad that I left it until I arrived in India. I just want to get my highlighter out to mark all the relevant sections that have really resonated with me. I must say that I was a bit dubious about reading it as the author is an ex-crim who escaped from jail before serving his time for armed robbery, but I am so glad that I took the plunge.

The following are some quotes from the book that have helped me over the last few days, to adjust to the Indian way of life.

1. The first thing I noticed about Bombay (ok so not New Delhi but still relevant!), on that first day was the smell of the different air. I could smell it before I saw or heard anything of India, even as I walked along the umbilical corridor that connected the plane to the airport. Page 4
2. As the kilometres wound past, as the hundreds of people in those slums became thousands, and tens of thousands, my spirited writhed. I felt defiled by my own health and the money in my pockets….Then the smouldering shame and guilt flamed into anger, became fist-tightening rage at the unfairness of it: What kind of gonvernment, I thought, what kind of a system allows suffering like this? Page 7
3. This is not like any other place. This is India. everyone who comes here falls in love – most of us fall in love many times over. And the Indians, they love most of all. Your little friend may be beginning to love you. There is nothing strange in this. I say it from a long experience of this country and especially of this city. It happens often, and easily, for the Indians. That is how they manage to live together, a billion of them, in reasonable peace. They are not perfect, of course. They know how to fight and lie and cheat each other, and all the things that all of us do. But more than any other people in the world, the Indians know how to love one another.’….’if there were a billion Frenchman living in such a crowded space, there would be rivers of blood…’ Page 85
4. ‘Tomorrow,’ she said, ‘when you go to Prabaker’s village, try to relax completely, and go with the experience. Just…let yourself go. Sometimes in India, you have to surrender before you win.‘ Page 99 (Most significant quote for me).

I am currently up to page 239 out of 936….


One Response to My current book is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

  1. Marg says:

    Sounds like a perfect book to read right now.

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