Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Started reading this book called The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks yesterday. I have never really been a fan of the bestselling romantic fiction but the premise in this one seemed interesting - that of a 50 plus man seeking to make his wife fall in love with him again. It began well enough - but the whole goody-goody ness of the book reached its peak when the author devoted two full pages explaining how christianity saved him from being a dull and miserable atheist (after stating that he would not dwell on this aspect of his life). His wife is good and kind and a firm believer who, he proudly states, would not have married him, had she not felt that he would one day turn to Jesus as his saviour.

While the tribal instincts of proselytising religions (may our tribe increase) is inherently irritating, I am always left feeling stunned by the illogical sense of superiority of their proponents. In the middle of a romantic novel you come against this? I can imagine that the "average" reader of this type of fiction belongs to a certain demographic and that has led the writer to pander to his taste. But surely an educated person, claiming a certain level of emotional maturity will understand that there are others who do not share the same beliefs? Apparently not.

This attitude could be forgiven in someone belonging to a century ago - education was more catechism then. But today, no matter what your beliefs, exposure to various cultures should have fostered a sense of respect for differences in beliefs. After all each religion exists merely on the faith of its disciples. There is no external proof of its truth. It is simply stupid then to keep insisting that all those not in your tribe are pathetic. Plus, there are platforms for these rants - take them there.

A girl once gave me a book about a Hindu brahmin who converted to Christianity after the "Holy Cow" chased him down a field with its horns lowered after he offered to feed it. It was a giggle fest for me.
The literal-minded can also be amusing beyond belief. Of course when I offered her a book on the goddess Kali as a return favour, she was offended. :)


  1. I completely agree with your analysis & views.
    A friend of mine summed it well when he said "80 % of the contents of ALL cultures & religions are probably obsolete".
    And unfortunately, most squabbles fall under
    "The 50th percentile of my culture/religion is better than the 65th percentile of your culture/religion".

    On a different note, I did see Ishqiya and liked it. Vidya Balan was sensational.

  2. I read one Nicholas Sparks book once - Not the Notebook - and disliked it. Haven't touched him since.

    Your review is fabulous.

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  4. ha! I would not have read this book anyways, but this post reminded me of a comedy show I went to.. The host, in all seriousness, opened the show with this line... "Welcome to all Christians, all others go to hell"...

    I had to be physically restrained from uttering an expletive at the offending person! so much for going to a comedy club, I didnt even enjoy the two acts that followed :-)

  5. Hey Samir, so true, it's frustrating - these thick attitudes of religious/cultural superiority. Especially coming from so called advanced people. glad to read your comment.please do post too.
    glad you liked ishqiya. jus saw the hurt locker. nice enough but it could have been far more impactful. too underplayed.

  6. Hi ava, Ya Sparks doesnt exist for me anymore either. I was actually looking forward to some good old-fashioned,low-brow read. this turned out to be all that in some unpleasant ways :)
    thanks a ton for dropping in

  7. eisi - no you wouldnt have. am getting there (wisdom :)) you live you learn after all.
    but you sat through that silly comedy show? btw have you heard of russell peters? i find him v funny. The guy can really do the race angle well. though i have seen only a couple of his shows' dvds.
    thanks for the comment, cheers

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  9. Peters is coming to my town... if friends play nice, i may go... he's really good... :-)

  10. In the hands of another writer, it might not have come across as a sermon but Sparks is heavy handed with his writing. I think I warned you about Sparks' books when you reviewed the Devgan/Kajol movie (cant remember the name, sorry) based on his 'the Notebook' ... I stay well away from his books too.

  11. eisi :I hope you go and have yourself a blast:)

  12. cp : heavy handed boss, and how! was trying to recollect the name of the book u had last reviewed when i went to the bookstore last - the whodunit, but couldnt remember and ended up buying steig larsson. hope he is as good as all the hoopla suggests he is.will duly note down the series you reviwed now :)