Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

I sure took my time in this book, strolling with it across the continents, taking each step like a snail that has all the time in the world. Presented to me as a gift from bestie, the book came with her wishes for me – eat, pray and love.

As the title suggests, the book is divided into three areas. The “eat” part is what I like about this book and I have a feeling this is the part which resonates with many people. Just like Shakespeare’s works, it can be taken out of context and applied to almost anyone. One can read it and relate to it as though it is one’s own story. The most important lesson from here is that we are all entitled to make our lives better, even after making decisions that appear to be wrong in general. After all, each of us is responsible for our own happiness.

However, happiness does not simply drop from the ceiling into one’s lap. One joke mentioned in the book is about this exasperated statue coming to life to ask the beggar to please buy a ticket, after the beggar kneeled and begged for months to strike lottery. If one chooses to simply watch TV all day, then the most the stars in the universe can align themselves to do, is to make sure that power supply is uninterrupted.

The “pray” part is interesting at the beginning, when there is a dramatic switch from pure indulgence to total discipline, a crossover from enjoyment to hard work. The technical details of the activities in the ashram can get a little overwhelming if one is not into yoga and meditation. But the aspect that does not appeal to me is that it is too mystical. Visions and dreams are only real when they happen to you. Hearing them from another voice is just too … unbelievable? Too many of such add up together will piece into an all-too-perfect but artificial picture. It all feels too deliberate.

As for “love” part, it is kind of boring. But maybe I am not a romantic person to start with. (Laughs.) It feels like there is nothing much to tell, and perhaps in Bali, there is really nothing interesting that is worth telling. So what are being told here are the Balinese history and culture, and some trivial stuff that does not tie in with the overall theme of the search for self. (By the way, this love story is very cliché. Not my cup of coffee, definitely.)

Would I recommend this book? Yes I would. At least, read the “eat” part. It will do anyone good. In “pray”, one can gain insight about yoga and meditation and of course it does not hurt to know more about the Balinese in “love”.

P.S – Bestie, thank you for continuing to stuff reads along my way, though I take forever to complete them. LOL~

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