Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: The Story of My Life

The Story of My LifeThe Story of My Life by Helen Keller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before I start pouring out what I have been dying to tell everyone, i must say that this book is 'A must read'. And one that must not be read just once and left to adorn the bookshelf. This is a book that can uplift one's soul and give it wings and it must be let to do so.

Even though it is not a thriller, it was difficult for me to stretch it beyond 2 sittings. My hungry soul devoured the elixir of goodness and hope and strength that was showered upon it, sincerely regretting that this book did not fall in my hands before. It made me cry, with profound bliss at having come across yet another specimen of human excellence. It made me laugh, at my petty worries and trivial sorrows. It made me gape, at the strength sheer optimism has. It made me fall in love with nature all the more. It made my soul touch heights it rarely had before. That's what we psychologists call a 'peak experience'. And an embalming serenity pervades my being this moment for having gone through a number of peak experiences while going through this work of supreme beauty and power.

It is impossible not to fall in love with the naughty little Helen while going through her letters that overflow with ambition and wisdom beyond her age or with a little more grown up Helen who found beauty to be a form of goodness and was as much in love with nature as any poet with super sensitive eyes and soul has ever been.

Many of Helen Keller's words hold personal significance for me and that made it doubly pleasurable to go through this book which drips of beauty, love, courage and resilience. Sample this: "Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness." It was with exceeding delight that I beheld that my inspiration found "solitude, books and imagination" to be her dearest pleasures (so much like me!).

Every single page of this book is alive with the sunshine that a single soul can spread all around itself, secrets of how one can find bliss in being the reason of everybody's happiness all around, how one can discover beauty in the mundane things of everyday life and give meaning to life by giving and striving and optimism. "I try to make the light in others' eyes my sun, the music in others' ears my symphony, the smile on others' lips my happiness."

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