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A Salute To Elizabeth Gilbert, The Woman Who Taught Us About Balance In Life With Her Books!

Posted: November 8, 2016
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Elizabeth Gilbert and her ideas about balance in life and her journey from the much acclaimed Eat, Pray, Love to her latest book, Big Magic.

The books by Elizabeth Gilbert are for all of us who have grown up reading western novels more than Ramayan and Mahabharat, who are the liberal ‘din-e-ilahi’ kind and therefore do not participate in rituals, for whom Sita is Dipika Chikhaliya, Ram – Arun Govil, Bhishma – Mukesh Khanna, who can sing Karmanyavadhikaraste without really understanding it, thanks to B R Chopra... Those of us who believe that life is about living, not just meditating, and yet who believe that, there needs to be a balance in life somewhere.

And then again those of us who realise that such balances probably don’t exist in this world and who therefore dissolve all such passionate but purportedly idiosyncratic, Utopian, radical thoughts into a goblet, a glass or a whole bottle of wine, lest the world would call us imbecile, extremists of a personal nature, here is the modern day saint, just for our kind!

Elizabeth Gilbert, an ex-waitress, a self-proclaimed ex-seduction addict, an ex-vagabond and homeless, an ex-divorcee, a foodie, a voracious reader, a prolific, inveterate writer, a die-hard romantic, a yogi, a spiritualist, is the modern day Mira. Just for the convenience of all, let’s call her the ‘Gopi’ who ended up being Mira.

She can talk about divinity and sainthood with the same fervour, as she talks of Food and of Sex – The three most important ingredients of a happy life. She makes each one of it sound like prayer: eating, meditating and love making. Let’s just call her someone who has balanced her yin and yang. Someone who is walking some sort of middle path, which is not really in the middle, but is like a spiderweb all over the ‘stuff’, that is called life.

And if one was to read ‘Eat Pray Love’, her most popular novel, a unique travelogue, one would begin to feel jealous of this homeless, aimless, disturbed, disheartened, depressed and in many ways deranged (What with all that tree hugging), individual who journeys through her inhibitions and three countries, in two continents, to find a balance, that we mere mortals can only dream of. And in the end of it, if we truly understood the book, we would want to call it, ‘Pray Pray Pray’ rather than ‘Eat Pray Love’, because it is a book of prayers, in three different forms.

But Liz made a mark on me with a totally different book. It is calledBig Magic.

“Liz Gilbert Ko Salam” for writing a book that is a sort of holy-book-for-the-creative. The, what-you-can-do-to-bring-your-creativity-out book, which resonates with me to the core.

If ever I have known a humble soul, here is one that is the humblest, because she demystifies creativeness and makes it into a form of prayer too. Do it every day, for God and ‘Creative Genius’ comes to those, who worship it every day, with passion and a selfless pursuit to the service of the goal, without pride. She is a saint I tell you…!

“The ideas that come to you are floating out there,” she says, “looking for a suitable medium. And therefore if that idea chose you, you should be thankful to the universe for that!” (Not an exact quote)

How much more spiritual can creativity get? I could almost hear a Sufi song at the background as I read the book.

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