Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moksin Hamid

I read the book Sunday afternoon (Dec 20th, 2015) in under 2-hour duration in between preparing, cooking and sipping a hearty onion soup. The afternoon was dandy and cool (a real treat to our usual hot, humid tropical weather).

I should be cleaning up the house. Its been 4-week delay from my usual schedule for a thorough clean up. but, meh! let the clutters, cluttered (and me weep when the new year, new hectic life begins, when i will have no time even to change the rolls of paper in the toilet)

For now, let me bask in the proud moment of finishing the book in 2-hour (with distraction). Well, okey. so, the book was lean. very engaging. This is a book (rarely i found) with less words but carry a hefty bulk of value. 

Its opening para was "excuse me, sir, but may i be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard: i am a lover of America.."

So, the story began at an open market of Anarkali, Lahore. The above person met a stranger (probably an American). Then, the story unfold as he narrated his younger person's story at Princeton to his employment at a very prestigious finance-analyst firm in NY and his relationship with an American girl, Erica.

The flashback story was narrated in a clear first person voice. Realistic enough for a person like me, who never set foot at Princeton/NY/Chile/NJ/Lahore. Somehow the narration give a glimpse of the cities/places and its inhabitants (maybe watching too much Hollywood movies helped constructing  some of the visions too).

I like the way the story turned at the end. Especially, because i didn't see it coming. 

Living in a world where everybody's blaming somebody else for misfortunes and worse still, pointing fingers at a certain religion/race to blame, this book gives the idea of the 'inside' person's perspective. and being an 'outsider', we'll never fully understand the weight (the gravity and meaning) of being an 'insider'. But, at least we can try. 

I'm not sure if this should be the appropriate outcome after reading this book, but, i feel strongly about shouldering our own burden in life. Nobody else will. Burden sharing is just an expression, in reality, to each, their own. 

This realization is so bleak for a brand new year post. Mull over it, will you? 

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