The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto – Mitch Albom

Lágrima (Spanish: Teardrop) – by Spanish guitarist Francisco Tárrega – is the main music piece of this very heart-aching and touching tale of a boy born during wartime. I travelled through parts of his journey with tears rolling down my cheeks. A story remains unreal as a story but the emotions are real.

At certain junctions i felt like kicking Music or Life (or the author) for playing cruel jokes on the boy. But if life is always smooth, then it isn’t life. I cannot recall the exact words but Shakespeare wrote something along the line of “to be alive is to feel pain”. I could not agree more.

The boy suffers greatly for his art (and fame). “You cannot write if you do not read, you cannot eat if you do not chew, you cannot play if you do not listen”, how many people truly understand this basic concept and still embrace the idea of delayed gratification? Recently i learnt from a video that it takes a toddler a year of listening to a language before he/she starts to speak the language. Not sure how true that study is but it makes sense.

In reality, some things are left unexplained. Not everything gets a closure. The best we can do, is just to move on. This point is well illustrated in the story in which the situation takes a turn for the worse whenever “truth” is revealed. Is truth really necessary? I guess that is subjective. Personally i feel some things are better left unsaid and unknown. But of course one should always know your roots and never pretend to be of a different origin. That should not change because it cannot change.

This book is a somewhat emotionally-draining read for me but i like it very much, not as much as i like Tuesdays with Morrie but enough to recommend it as a book worth reading. It makes many of the issues we face today look small and silly.

Art, existing in various forms (words, paintings, music, films…) will always connect people at heart, regardless of distance and era. It will always be a reliable source of solace to all. Always.

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