A few days ago, a friend mentioned on a WhatsApp message that life was frustrating due to the rains and some other local civic issues. Since she is quite a sport, I sent her this image that had fortuitously landed up just that morning in another message in WA.
She promptly responded that she had changed her perspectives when she had read Forty Rules Of Love.
I was intrigued and since I had not read or even heard of the book, sent for a copy of that book from Amazon and just finished reading it yesterday.
Having crossed that landmark, I messaged my friend -“How exactly did forty rules of love change your perspective?”
She responded with this fairly detailed message:
“It is pure fiction I know but, don’t laugh.
I still have my thinking process working for me.
I first read it several years ago when it had just come out.
I thought that if Ella could leave everything behind
and go looking for Aziz, then I could also think and give my opinions freely. The only difference being that I had not changed my life for a man.
I now feel free to think and express my thoughts which earlier as a wife and then as a widow, I had felt I could not. That is all.
My mind is free as also my spirit.
And, up to the time that my mother was alive, I had kept my thoughts on religion to myself so as not to hurt her. Now my opinions are well known as I articulate them freely.”
The behaviour of Ella that my friend mentions does not seem bizarre to me as I know of other women who have done similar things and who have survived, though with some tragic consequences to their husbands and children. My friend is still very much part of her family and in my opinion quite enjoys being so.
That brings me to my own take on the book.
It is not one of those books that one feels compelled to finish reading in one sitting. It is quite disjointed and there are too many diversions within the framework that takes one’s attention away from the main theme. And having been a student of Sufism and Islam besides Vedanta, I found the philosophical comments interesting if somewhat needlessly long.
While exploring the author I also came across reference to another of her books The Bastard Of Istanbul. I have bought a copy of that too and will shortly read it. Perhaps I may even review it here.
Have you read The Forty Rules Of Love? What impact, if any, did it have on you?