“You’ll live a hundred years.”
How many of us might have been told this when we walked into a room at the exact time as the people there were talking of us. I haven’t really thought about what I’d do if I live a hundred years, but only wished that the life I live be satisfactory. The last century has seen a lot of landmark events, some good some bad. People who have lived through that, been a part of that, their thoughts and stories are something to take note of. To compile such a set of stories is something as difficult as it is interesting. And through this book, that is exactly what Meera Shashidhara does.
Living to be a Hundred is a unique project, one that started out long back, but only came to fruition recently. The stories of people in it are interesting, to say the least. What is nice to see is that the people in it aren’t celebrities or famous people, but people who have led tough lives and reached the mark of one hundred years. Their life may not have left a mark on the world by name, but some have been part of those events which did. Their philosophies on life are sometimes so simple that it surprises. They’ve done what they had to do to survive. And though I may not understand what they had to do sometimes, I admire their strength for having done that.
Through these true stories, I almost felt what they felt… the irony of finding out you married an uneducated person when you are campaigning for more education, or the sadness of rejections that make you feel like taking an extreme step. Each person going past their obstacles showed that strength more. If the first half were their stories, their habits and routines, the second part explored their thoughts and philosophies on various things more. Their ideas on what accomplishment or passion is, what is inspiration and where they found it, what they felt to be the best time of their lives… they are worth reading.
Though a non-fiction, this book doesn’t come across like an essay. It’s almost like you are sitting with the person and having a chat over coffee. This way of putting it across makes it feel light and nice to read. The author mentions that it took a while for this project to get published. I’m glad that it did.
Why should you read it?
Inspiring stories of people who have lived a hundred years, been a part of important events and yet not well known. A non-fiction that keeps the reader engaged.
Title: Living to be a Hundred
Author: Meera Shashidhara
Publisher: Leadstart Publishers
Price: INR. 195
(11th June 2014)