More than a book review

Guest contributor, Arafat Hasan, Master of Accounting, shares some reading inspiration with our Wise ASSC readers.

I remember the first time I bought a book. It was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I think if one is not in the habit of reading books then it is very important to start with books which are easy to read. This book is about following your heart. I often ponder upon some lines from the books I have read so far. There are always some lines or books which leave a mark on you and these lines act like your moral or intellectual compass. One such line is “…wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure”.

I remember why I started reading books. I wanted to read because I wanted to do something that would make me feel good about myself and since then finishing every book did make me feel good. They are small victories which foster confidence and self-worth. As a person who has always struggled with depression and anxiety, books paved the way for my self-discovery.

It took one broken heart to look my insecurities and challenges in the eye and resolve to do something about it. That’s what it always is, isn’t it? Taking the first step? Can anyone answer why the first step is always hard? Why do we always wait for a miracle? It is only after crawling out of our pit of despair and hopelessness that we realise we were the miracles we were waiting for. Of course, without God’s help nothing is possible. I hope I have not lost my agnostic readers by saying that. 

Hey, wait a minute, I thought I was writing a book review….

Raise your hand if you have heard of Ernest Hemingway. Does it ever happen to you guys that you feel that the greatness of a man has something to do with his name? Or is it only after they have attained cosmic success that their names weigh upon us like gravity. I have always liked the simplicity of Hemingway’s writing. Though I am not sure if we can write like him. During my GCSE, one of my English teachers used to say “simple English is the hardest English”.

I guess then we can say that complex English is soft (laugh). Now, before I lose myself in the utter nonsense of my ramblings let’s steer back to Mr. Hemingway. What makes someone a Hemingway? Is it the beard? Do I have to be an American? More importantly, why am I asking these questions?

It’s because Hemingway said in one of his books that ‘Men can be destroyed but never defeated’. Isn’t that what we should tell ourselves every time we fall? Easier said than done. 

So, to all those suffering right now, all those hurt by people and circumstances, all those who are crying their heart out, I hope you find peace and happiness. May you be rewarded for your trials and tribulations. May you be rewarded for your patience. 

Arafat is an International postgraduate student and enjoys reading classic English novels. His favourite authors include John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and Rabindranath Tagore.