April 17, 2013

The bookworm inside me....

“This is why dreams can be such dangerous things: they smolder on like a fire does, and sometimes they consume us completely.”

I think I haven't read as much in the last year as I'd like to. In Toronto, I'd read daily on the train while commuting  to and from work. Here, it's not happening daily. In the last 10 months, I've only finished...3.5 books. Tsk tsk, bad Naima! Just to give a sense of how much I used to read - Last year between January and April, I had already read 4 books! Here, some days I do snuggle up on my couch or go to a cafe and read...but most of the reading happens while traveling. I finished up a crazy thriller while on the many trains we took during our Italy trip. 

Anyway, the above quote is from the book Memoirs of a Geisha. It's one of my favourite
books. I read it 2 years ago, but recently felt like re-reading it and since I left my book in Toronto, I ended up watching bits and pieces of the movie. Of course, just like other book-turned-movies, this one doesn't do full justice to the book either. It's still good. Slow, but the book itself is slow.

The book follows the life of a girl during pre and post-WW2 Japan, who is sold to the life of a geisha. Geisha are women in Japan who are trained in arts - music, dance, performances at tea ceremonies; and their job is to entertain the wealthy men who come to their tea houses. Sayuri, who's sold to one of these tea house owners when she's a little girl, grows to learn all the skills required to become a geisha. She has to struggle, and face animosity from rivals, but makes it to becoming a high class geisha. Only to lose it all because of the outbreak of the war. Poor girl can't catch a break. 

The book is so well written, and gives a little peak into the Japanese culture. It also gives you an insight on the lives of geisha and shows us that geisha are not really prostitutes, which is the common perception.  They are more of a companion/entertainer for men. It is a full fledged career where you have special schools and lessons to train these little girls to become a geisha. 

The narrative is captivating, characters nicely developed, story well told. The title can be misleading, it still is a work of fiction. But such a poetic work of fiction. The analogies/idioms are well used. I cried sad and happy tears for Sayuri through her journey. 

The book is slow paced in the beginning, picks up pace in the middle and drags again towards the end. However, it still is one of my favourite books!


On another note, this week has been so summery with temperature ranging between 20 and 24 degrees celsius! So gorgeous, not even a spring jacket needed, I'm lovin' it! And of course good weather means ice cream walks that I mentioned earlier are to be resumed! Except yesterday was more of an ice cream run. Umair and I went running last evening, and I was able to keep up with him! It isn't easy keeping up with a marathon man, you know. So to reward myself we both went to my favourite ice cream place after our run. I had forgotten how amazing their mango ice cream was! I've tried mango in quite a few places and no one else does it like them. So, so good! My mango ice cream, I've missed you! 

1 comment:

  1. Your writing is so effortless :). That book is on my to read list.