WHEREABOUTS: ONE DOESN’T ALWAYS BELONG!
Updated: Aug 25, 2021
In a world today, where everything is so defined and pre-determined, especially for a girl/ woman, life becomes so predictable. Get a degree at this age, job at that age, get married in such an age and have kids at this certain age. Every one of us would have come across this life advice, either from a relative or from our own instincts as these things are so deeply imbibed in us. Panic kicks in so easily if anything goes off the clock. What if it is not your time? What if you want to skip that phase? What if you want to break the monotony and get define your own life on your own terms? Sounds rebellious. Isn’t it? Well, it is, and it is not. How can on taste life until one has himself/ herself experimented with it?
Since the past year, I have developed a love for listening to audio books for various reasons. One such book I listened was “Whereabouts” by one of my favorites, Jhumpa Lahiri. She never fails to amaze me or keep me hooked till the very last page for her work. This work is no different. Many readers prompted it to be a melancholic read. Well, why not/ Sometimes, melancholy is refreshing change in genre. It does not always make you sad. For me, it makes me quiet, slow down and contemplate on life. Since, it was an audio book are opted for this one, it made it even more enchanting. The book is a narrative of an anonymous narrator, who explains her life through simple things. Through simple yet captivating backgrounds that would surely grasp your attention. She is an unmarried lady but as she says, “she had had her share of married men”. She tastes life as it comes to her. Her mother, as the narrator suspects, wanted her to lead a normal life by that she means get a degree, get a job, get married, and settle down. However, though she becomes a very learned woman, she is somehow single and does not lament about it. For her mother, solitude has always been a nightmare which is in stark contrast to what the narrator thinks of solitude. She finds it peaceful and comforting. She also realizes the reasons behind her father’s idea on staying put in a place rather than going around places in the name of vacation and ruining the holidays. As she ages, she finds reasons for everything that has happened in her life. She is without any major complaints. This may sound like no plot line to all the readers searching for adventure. However, those who want to calm down their nerves in this chaotic world, this book is just for them.
I cannot literally define but there is something magnetic about the book, that will hold your attention. The details of minor things elaborated, the simple joys of life, the little things that scare us, the small things that make us insecure and vulnerable are so magically penned down. Originally written in Italian and translated in English by the author herself, is a must read if you are looking for a peaceful calming read. I totally recommend it.