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Spread the love..

I am here today putting up a LJ post after more than two and half months. Over these months, a couple of events have happened in my life, but today, I shall not be talking about any of them. I will try putting them soon, one after the other.

I am here to write about the book 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' by Richard Bach. The title of this post has been one of the message that it tries to convey. This book was suggested to me, and other members of the audience, during a talk at our campus by Mr. Amit Rao on "Being a successful software professional" on March 26, 2009. Out of excitement, after a few days of the talk, I went ahead and bought the book, but for some reason, never touched it at all. After a long time, during the second week of this month, I decided to relocate the book and read it. So, on a local train journey of mine from Thane to Vashi, I started reading the book. By the time, I reached Vashi I was completely lost with the story that the book was telling me, and so, I decided to stay at a coffee shop there, and finish it, and so did I.

After a few hours, Amit sir was online, and was kind enough to listen to my views on the book. I am thankful for his time. Today, I am reproducing the same text from our chat logs. These may be a bit crude, but then, this is the way I shared it with him, and will share the same thoughts here as well. I am not looking forward to any formal and/or organized review of the book.

For me, it was the level flight today.
Perhaps, with practice.. I may go ahead with it. :)

It starts with fighting the known factors..
and reaching milestones..
by looking forward to numbers that we understand.
But then, those numbers lose significance when we realize that we're not looking forward to them..
and surprisingly, this comes when you're an outcast..
not by choice, but by force.
And that force, actually pushes you too hard to go beyond those numbers,
those limits set by the flock.. and go to those limits.. which you don't understand.
At a time, when you're looking for more, where the hunger is even more than what it used to be..
you find yourself a teacher.. a mentor..
who teaches you greater skills, imparts higher knowledge on what you wanted..
but teaches you the most important lesson.. that when am gone..
remember me, as if I was never there..
and focus on what you wanted to do..
the bonding with the mentor stays with greater respect then.
when the mentor leaves, you realize what you wanted to do..
and get back to train more gulls who are amidst you..
and have reached similar heights as you have..
but then.. you hope, and remember the flock down there..
where you realise that there may be a few more..
who would want to reach where these are.. and where you are..
you convince your mediator.. on time, and space.. defining it as now..
I could connect this to kal karein so aaj kar, aaj karein so ab.. :)
once, that is done.. you go back..
and look for the same gull who was once you..
fighting with those numbers.. not knowing those skills, tactics of higher flying...
and then you meet your true self again..
where you start all over.. and unlearn first.. and re-learn again..
by teaching the skills to others.
You get many of those gulls.. you teach all of them..
and what they all learn is what they want to.. i.e. skills of flying..
rest.. what you say.. is what they are too tired to listen.
and which is what you want them to know.
i.e. spread the love.
to those.. who've disregarded you..
merely because of ignorance.. and rules.. that they fear to break.
you go back.. with your hand full gulls..
demonstrating what you've learnt..
to make them understand that you weren't wrong.. and nor are those who fear..
mixed reactions there..
but then..
you focus on flying.. and the gulls keep falling in..
until one day.. when they bring obstacles.. and you lose control..
for them.. a sense of joy..
but for you.. you know that you need to start all over again..
fletcher.. is the jonathan again..
and realising that he shall learn more.. and defeat what he doesn't know.
in all of this.. he teaches many..
he makes many lose their fear.. and focuses on the level flights alone.
am done for now.. and not limited.
 
Also, the book has a few statements which when looked upon in isolation make good sense and I was able to relate to them very well. It talks about breaking the chains of mind (thoughts), and body which actually sends deeper signals about how we limit ourselves to what we perceive our capabilities are; whereas, what we don't seem to realise is that our capabilities are not bound to what we have, and rather, they go beyond those, and even beyond our imaginations. As humans, or as gulls, we're bound to learn at every time, and so, with time, the horizon of everything (capabilities, imaginations etc.) expands and that is what we don't tend to match up with. Ek baar jo soch liya, woh hi humarein liye pathar ki lakir ho jaati hain. Jabki, aisa nahin hona chahiyeh. We should accept, and adapt to such transformations that come to us at various events of life.

The book actually talks about seeing dreams, meeting them, and making newer ones. It tells you to continue doing it till you actually meet your hunger, and that is why I had put my status message (a couple of days back) as "Well, then, the time's not distant when I'm going to appear out of thin air on your beach, and show you a thing or two about flying!" Because, it was all about the cycle of hunger which continues for ever till you see dreams and live up to them. Considering the timing of the above words, in the book, I just loved it, and when I reached that point in the book, to realize it was over, and then realizing that there are no limits.

This book has simply been an amazing read for me. I guess, those who've read the book may be able to relate to the above views very well. And if you've not, then I would certainly recommend you to check it out. And yes, it would be completely injustice if I end this post without actually acknowledging the editor of the book to put the right set of pictures in the book at the right places. The images of the gulls flying are truly awesome and add a wonderful and a beautiful outlook to what the book tries to tell you.

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