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Life of Pi: Yann Martel

Life of Pi is the winner of the man booker prize award and has also been adapted into an international film starring Irfan Khan and Tabu. This is a story of a young Tamil boy named Piscine Molitor Patel shorted as Pi Patel. He has been bought up in a zoo but later his father decides to sell the zoo and migrate to Canada with his family. The animals are loaded on the ship to be sold internationally. But the ship is wrecked and Pi Patel is the lone human survivor on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orang-utan, a hyena, and a 400 pound Royal Bengal tiger.

My experience reading it

I have watched this movie a long time back and hence when I picked this book I expected my reading experience to be a little subpar. But it turned out quite opposite. I enjoyed the book more than I expected to.

The story seems simple on the surface, one might think it is just another story about shipwreck survivor. But the writer has added so many elements to it. The protagonist of the story seemed to exploring issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age.

I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always… so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

I liked that the narration of the story is in the first person. It somehow gives more access to the head of the protagonist. And when reading the story about a lone survivor in the Pacific, it is important to know what that person is thinking.

The book gives hope, faith and encourages you to be brave. It is amazing to see how the protagonist never falters from his faith in God even in the grimmest of the situation. Being a vegetarian myself, my heart keeps going to Pi when he was struggling to kill his first fish. The end of the story though happy breaks my heart.

It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise, you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse.

This is a beautiful book, a nice and crisp story and beautifully executed by the author. I recommend this book for a quick read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Published inBooksFiction

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