The year 2014 wasn't the best year for me for reading. I have come to believe, for reading, 2012 still rules as one of my best year.
Fortunately, whichever book decided to come to me this year happened to be a good read. Another thing that I have come to believe is that, you don't find books, books find you. Many things in universe come together to present books that you were meant to read.
With that bit of extraneous information, I must present to you, Dave Besseling's The Liquid Refuses to Ignite. It's is not about anything in particular except that it encapsulates ten years of traveling around the world, including Varanasi. Funny, subversive and anecdotal wisdom and sometimes self-depreciating humor to probe deeper issues around our existence.
"If Dr.Heagney and I aware of this crutch of a good life, how do we seek to experience the shock of a shit one to find. Some kind of balance? Self destruction? Liquor and drugs? would our lives have been better served with a dead parent? Serving in a war, being homeless for a while, having kicked a terminal disease, killing someone? Fuck knows. Do we consciously chase down surrogates?"
Besseling's experience in Varanasi will leave you deeply moved while he tries to find some semblance in one of the oldest, filthiest cities in the world.
"This is Shiva's city, and guess which God is also known as the lord of bhang? None other that our host Shiva himself. No wonder he's always half-lidded barefoot and wearing loincloths and beaded bracelets. He is goddamn hippie dope fiend."
Besseling is not the one to go only in one direction. He is seeking wisdom in frustrations and deep meanings of life with equal irreverent panache. Perhaps, all their is to life is seeking, more seeking, till you become it. Who the hell knows?
"What makes India a spiritual place is not the idols or the gurus, but everyday shit you just have to let go off, make peace with, or surrender to. And it's a daily regimen."
Or take this for example,
"Unsettling stuff. Unsettling to contemplate the Nazi state as educators. Perhaps most unsettling is the fact that though we can laugh at such things now, this may be part of our condition. The one our pampered generation has set to conquer: that certain detachment from real suffering, so often interwoven with cynicism, either that, or to be able to laugh at such things is a privilege, an intellectual elevation to be appreciated."