A tribute to Paul.

One day as I was browsing through Amazon’s 100 books to read in a lifetime I came across this book: When breath becomes air – Paul Kalanithi

I kept on reading the title over and over again. It felt very profound. One single line conveyed a world of meaning. It was enough to hold me for a while and I wondered the impact the book would have ( if I were to judge the book by the cover).

Since I was in no mood to wait for a copy to arrive 😦  I started with an e-copy. The book had a foreword by Dr Abraham Varghese that gave me a vague idea of the book. Once I went past the introduction I instantly knew that this was going to be one hell of a book. It was like nothing I’d read in my whole life (not that I’ve read a lot to be saying this 😅 ).

You know, the kind of books where you already know what the plot is…what is finally going to happen….when breath becomes air…..and you still read on…going through all the strong emotions and trying to understand the state of mind of the author.
I found it nothing short of art. The way Kalanithi used words and phrases and poetry to convey the whole essence of his thoughts and feelings. I just fell in love with this book, his life and his search.
I don’t know if it was because it brought back memories. Memories of death at your doorstep, knocking. Memories of it dragging you away into an abyss of your own mind and letting go when the other forces just refused to let go.
I don’t know if it was because I’d wondered the same questions before. Of meaning. Purpose. Ikigai.

There were some pages I read multiple times. Taking time and letting it assimilate slowly.



… Intentionally left blank for the time I think I’m ready enough to comment on it…






By the time I was done with this book I badly felt the urge to buy my own hardcopy and ordered one. I haven’t read any book more than once. But this is definitely going to be an exception.

I wish Paul was alive today. Maybe he’d have gotten closer to his ambitious search for life’s meaning, apart from major breakthroughs in the field of neuroscience and medicine.



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