Wednesday, January 15, 2014

War and Peace

The last time I read a book as riveting, romantic and epic was Gone With The Wind and this time War and Peace literally had me glued to the pages as the people became a part of my life for almost all of last month or so. Yes it's taken me a while to finish it but every second of reading this book was absolutely worth it. As I completed the last few chai stained pages a sadness descended upon me as it was time to take leave of Andrey, Pierre, Nikolay, Natasha, Marya and Sonya's world.

As people have said before the book should probably have been called Peace and War as only one third of it describes the war between France led by Napoleon and Russia led by Tsar Alexander. Even though Tolstoy's analysis and description of the war, the fate of the two armies and the politics of the leaders is extremely interesting and engaging I was more enamoured by the characters and their individual and intertwined journey.

Tolstoy's people ( I can't see them as mere characters) are perfect with their flaws. They struggle with questions about life, love and loss that are as pertinent today as they were then. The thing that touched me most was  the zest for life that runs through the entire saga despite dire circumstances. I don't think I can quite explain how much I've loved reading it. If you haven't read it let me assure you that once you start reading it the size of the book becomes inconsequential. I mean here is a story that needs each one of the 1400 pages. He reads the minds of his people and writes them with such simplicity and insight that you can almost imagine that if you ever met the man in real life he might be able to accurately describe your character and psychological profile within the first few minutes of the meeting. He is truly brilliant.

I've picked up the next spanking new book called And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. His most moving book of course was The Kite Runner. A Thousand Splendid Suns was not too bad but I've completely forgotten what it was all about which doesn't say much. I hope this one will be better. I did not try to cook anything too complicated beyond my control today. Today's dinner menu was Tehri (Masala rice with veggies) and Raita. The salt was too little but I really don't care. Pick up the damn saltshaker and shake it!

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