Letter from Peking – Not just a book
I don’t remember when I got “Letter from Peking” from Azamgarh and when was the first time I read the book. It’s not my book but my Papa’s and looking at the pages of the book that have turned yellow with time, it seems it should be easily 30 years old. Or may be more.
It was sheer luck that just when I had thought that the book is nowhere to be found, a friend came home with a bag of my books (both college books and others) that I had kept at her place. Yes, I do that. Leave something or the other where ever I stay so that I can say ‘I was here’. Coming back to the point, I opened the bag and this book was smiling at me. I should share that I have hunted for a paperback version of this book in almost all stores in Bangalore and online for over two years. A kindle version can be readily bought but not the real book. I finished reading the book last month and this post is by no means a review.
A story of lost love torn between China and America during the times of communist uprising in China. Written by Pearl S. Buck, “Letter from Peking” is one of my favorite books. There is something about this book which is hard to describe. For the two times I have read this book, tears trickle down, I feel for Eve and I want Gerald to come back to her.
The battle between right versus right. When a person wants to give back to his country but in return has to leave his family. When a married woman is all alone and knows her husband has left her forever. But she still hopes to see him some day. When the memories of the times together is the only precious thing she has to live with every single day till the end of her life. When their son can never understand what father’s love it and how it is above everything that any other relationship can provide.
We all have different definitions of love. It is the joy of being together, the comfort in someone’s presence, finding a friend in your partner, being able to explore common interests and caring for each other till death do people part. At the same time, love is also about giving up so that the partner can fulfill her/his dreams. It is also about sacrifice and accepting what life brings to us. It is about letting go to what we thought was ours. It is pain but it is still love.
What is love for me is not love for you. And it’s again different for the third person we meet. That’s how complex yet simple love is. Shape it and size it up they way you want. You can feel loved in someone’s presence or someone’s absence. Love is life and love is also the loss of life.