Book Review: Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

For Book Club Meeting: Saturday, 7th November 2009.
Venue: Ms. Geeta Chhabra’s residence. Time: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is a small slender book possessing precious material; in this book, legitimate questions and answers crop up: depicting precise and touching scenes of a man who has a very limited time to live. Supported by a natural easy style, every page out of the book is a follow up of a lesson and every chapter creates substance which could further strengthen a reader’s existing purpose of achieving the meaning of a fullsome life. In more than many ways, the book prepares us for the final phase of our journey. After all, as we all know, the only certainty in life is death.

Page 10 – From line 11 to 19.
Morrie’s doctors guessed he had two years left. Morrie knew it was less. But the old professor had made a profound decision, one he began to construct the day he came out of the doctor’s office with a sword hanging over his head. Do I wither up and disappear, or do I make the best of my time left? He would not wither. He would not be ashamed of dying.

The above scene impacted me strongly – to the extent that I gave myself a sacred oath: Morrie would not wither. I will not wither, either – when my time comes to depart! Coming to the part of being ashamed of dying, I would say: I hope I would not be scared of dying versus being ashamed of dying. Tuesdays with Morrie made me understand a little better, what I am already trying to understand: which is to say that the book climbed up to my frame of thinking.

Page 65. Morrie says to Mitch: ‘we’re involved in trillions of little acts to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing?’ He paused. ‘You need someone to probe you in that direction. It won’t just happen automatically.’ Mitche’s words: I knew what he was saying. We all need teachers in our lives. And mine was sitting in front of me.

Readers, here, do permit me to point out that one of the best things the Indian culture has given to the world is: The Importance of a True Guru. At some stage, some of us get very lucky in finding a true guru, who is present in our hearts and guiding.

Morrie’s lines on: Marriage – page 149.
“I’ve learned this much about marriage. You get tested. You find out who you are, who the other person is, and how much you accommodate or don’t.”

Mitch Albom asks Morrie if there is some kind of rule to know if a marriage is going to work? Morrie smiles and says, “Things are not that simple, Mitch.” “Still,” he said, “there are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don’t respect the other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike. And the biggest one of those values, Mitch? Your belief in the importance of your marriage.

The old professor’s dialogue brims with profound wisdom and hard-truth.

Page 159. It is 1979, a basket ball game in the Brandeis gym. The team is doing well, and the student section begins a chant, “We’re number one! We’re number one!” Morrie is sitting nearby. He is puzzled by the cheer. At one point, in the midst of ‘we’re number one.” He rises and yells, “what’s wrong with being number two?” The students look at him. They stop chanting. He sits down, smiling and triumphant.

What a well-done statement!

Mitch Albom virtually etched the title of his small slender book right on my heart. I had instantly fallen in love with Tuesdays with Morrie from the start.

Geeta Chhabra

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