There are few books I can claim changed my life; books that have made me think about the way I perceive my environment, relationships and generally, how I live. Paulo Coelho has about 2 books on that list, Khaled Hosseini another or two, and a bunch of other writers. But the first book to make that list was Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 3 years ago. It was exciting and enchanting as it was thought-provoking.
Probably because at the time I read it, I related to the character Florentino Ariza: dancing on Love’s burning coals oblivious of the wounds that ate into my very being. No matter how badly I got burnt, I lumbered on the promise of Love inflating me with insane courage.
This was written so much for and about Ariza as it was for me.
He danced on Love’s fiery coals
their heat exciting his heart
as Lent lilies by Wind’s tune.
His quill mercilessly bled
lucid verse on his ardour;
and his violin’s serandes
infused night’s serene quiescence.
Ah, but this cruel abscence
his sanity now pervades
and strips his heart to the core.
Yet he by Love’s promise led-
drawn into approaching monsoon-
yields and partakes of the hurt
as none memory recalls.
Head bowed, he’ll stand- in his hand,
a lonely withered camellia.
—-Mini- anthology: Hepatica—