A Reader posted a review at 2007-07-05 06:00:04.
This book was passed along to me by Leena, my fellow PCV friend up in Mtubatuba. I was interested in reading it because itâ€™s about India and I wanted to know about the place where my â€œfamilyâ€ comes from. Unfortunately, this book didnâ€™t paint the rosiest picture for me. In fact, it broke my heartâ€¦over and over and over again. Sometimes it got to the point where I just couldnâ€™t take it anymore and had to put the book down out of pure heartache for the characters in the book. But luckily, I had that luxuryâ€¦of putting down the book and closing it when it became too difficult to bear.
But the book isnâ€™t about happy endings, it isnâ€™t about despair either. Itâ€™s about the â€œfine balanceâ€ between the two of them. As one character in the book states, â€œYou have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair.â€ With all of lifeâ€™s sadness and hardships, one can always find pockets of hope and happiness. Similar to the quilt of Miss Dina Dilhal. It contained pieces of fabric from the dresses that she and her tailors had been working on throughout their time with her. Upon looking at the quilt, Dina notices a piece of fabric from a particularly difficult time for all of them. â€œget me the scissorsâ€¦Iâ€™ll cut it out and throw it away.â€ But the tailor, Ishvar replied, â€œNo no, Dinabai, let it be, it looks very nice in thereâ€¦Calling one piece sad is meaningless. See, it is connected to a happy pieceâ€¦and the next square.â€ Then he goes through the happy memories tied to the pieces connecting to that one sad piece and states, â€œso thatâ€™s the rule to remember, the whole quilt is much more important than any single square.â€
Unfortunately, not all of us are made strong enough to endure the difficult times in favour of the more happy ones. We lose hope and despair takes over. But those of us who do not lose hope, are always rewarded with happy moments, regardless of how desperate and sad our lives may seem.
This is a book worth discussing at length, so if any of you do pick it up, and I HIGHLY recommend you do, give me a shout and we can chat about it sometime.