Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Five people you meet in heaven
Last month I was reading this book called 'Five people you meet in heaven' by Mitch Albom. I am impressed by the way the author narrates the story, you just cannot keep the book down half way through. From reviews across the web, it looks like his other book 'Tuesdays with Morrie' is more appreciated, but this one was good enough for me to like his style of writing. Very simple way of story telling and very simple story.
The story is about an old man named Eddie who dies in an accident and goes to heaven. All life he lives with a sense of bitterness that he was tied down in one place because he had to take care of his parents. If not for this responsibility, he thinks he would have gone away to do better things in life. There are few incidences in his life which take the center stage in the story line. All of the people whom he meets in heaven are people he was connected to while alive and are waiting to tell him a story. A story that tells how their life stories are linked to his. Each tale has a lesson to teach for all of us. I don't want to narrate the story here; Mitch Albom has done a fabulous job in his book. So do read this one if you get a chance.
But I do like to share something interesting about the book. The first of the people in heaven is one guy who Eddie doesn't know. The story around this person is that as a kid Eddie was playing with a ball and he throws it on the road alongside a park. There is a car approaching which barely misses the ball by an inch. Eddie picks the ball and walks back in the park to continue playing with his brother. But the car driver looses control and somewhere down the road meets with an accident resulting in his death.
Lesson, the author says is that we all are connected. Knowingly or unknowingly we cross each others lives; we know the connection with people whom we interact and know how they impact us. But as part of this universe (in Hinduism we call it Brahman) we are all connected. The connection can be a relationship you share with a person, it can be an incidence you may have experienced together, or as part of a community or just that we are all alive.
I was listening to news one day; they were interviewing people who were survivors of the Hudson river plane crash. One of the people said, once they were off the plane everyone hugged and rejoiced and everyone felt connected to each other.
I was in the train traveling back home from downtown. As I was reading the book, I just looked up and saw around. I could not stop thinking what if some mishap happens while I was in the train? A train de-rail? Or some really physched guy had a bad day at work and decides to shoot down people in the train? In that situation may be all the people in the train compartment get together and put down the gun man. May be the people would then feel some kind of bonding between each other! But should an experience like that make me feel that there is a connection?
I looked around now. I saw some yawning, some reading newspaper, some sitting eyes closed, some talking out loud of their children, some talking of their bosses and some of their boyfriends. Everybody was having yet another day after work. But here I was having a new feeling, a feeling of oneness, that everyone around me are humans and part of the same one being. It was a strange and weird yet a good feeling. I smiled to myself.
Btw, I loved the suspense in the end of the book about the last person Eddie meets. Just as the book ends, you get feel 'Ah! Never expected this. Nice'.
Overall a good read. Most importantly the book has only about 300 pages. I easily get bored to read books, so a quick read is always preferred. And very few books are worth like this one.