Monday, July 9, 2012

Veronika Decides to Die- Book Review

Veronika, a young girl in her twenties takes sleeping pills bored to live the routine life and since she felt life is not worth living since things turn out to be the same with no much difference. But in her suicide note she writes that she has taken the decision to die since her country Slovenia was not known to many. Unfortunately she   survives the attempt and gets landed in a mental asylum called Villete.
The chief Doctor says that she will survive only for two more weeks since her heart got damaged and irreparable and she might have a stroke anytime.  She was not bothered about her state initially, but later on she decides to leave the rest of her days by doing whatever she likes and enjoys by playing Piano, masturbating openly in front of schizophrenic male etc.
The story asks you live as you wish not being controlled by mad rules of the society. The entire world is a mad world and we are living in it. A short story told by another psychiatric patient Zedka reveals this clearly
“Once upon a time, powerful wizard, who wanted to destroy an entire kingdom, placed a magic potion in the well from which the inhabitants drank. Whoever drank that water would go mad.
The following morning, the whole population drank from the well and they all went mad, apart from the king and his family, who had a well set aside for them alone, which the magician had not managed to poison. The king was worried and tried to control the population by issuing a series of edicts governing security and public health. The policemen and the inspectors, however, had also drunk the poisoned water, and they thought the king’s decisions were absurd and resolved to take notice of them.
When the inhabitants of the kingdom heard these decrees, they became convinced that the king had gone mad and was now giving nonsensical orders. The marched on the castle and called for his abdication.
In despair the king prepared to step down from the throne, but the queen stopped him, saying: ‘Let us go and drink from the communal well. Then we will be the same as them.’
And that was what they did: The king and queen drank the water of madness and immediately began talking nonsense. Their subjects repented at once; now that the king was displaying such ‘wisdom’, why not allow him to rule the country?
The country continued to live in peace, although its inhabitants behaved very differently from those of its neighbors. And the king was able to govern until the end of his days.”
That’s what is happening in todays world.
Paulo Coelho also makes a mock at the todays laws and rules, and even blames God for creating a situation that Adam and Eve commit the mistake of eating the forbidden fruit.
Another patient Maria decides to live in the asylum itself even after cure since she feels the world outside to be even mad.
Veronika decides to die is a wonderful novel that one should read. Veronika after living as per her wish finds life to be worth living and later longs for living.
The following are some of the quotes from the book. Read ,feel and understand that life is worth living but we are living in  a wrong way
Below are the few quotes from the book      
 “The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”
“People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.”
 “If one day I could get out of here, I would allow myself to be crazy. Everyone is indeed crazy, but the craziest are the ones who don't know they're crazy; they just keep repeating what others tell them to.”
 “Be crazy! But learn how to be crazy without being the center of attention. Be brave enough to live different.”
 “You are someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that in my view is a serious illness. God chose you to be different. Why are you disappointing God with this kind of attitude?”
 “Love fills everything. It cannot be desired because it is an end in itself. It cannot betray because it has nothing to do with possession. It cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks. Anyone who tries to imprison love will cut off the spring that feeds it, and the trapped water will grow stagnant.”
 “Haven't you learned anything, not even with the approach of death? Stop thinking all the time that you're in the way, that you're bothering the person next to you. If people don't like it, they can complain. And if they don't have the courage to complain, that's their problem”
 “Be like the fountain that overflows, not like the cistern that merely contains.”
 “Faith is not Desire. Faith is Will. Desires are things that need to be satisfied, whereas Will is a force. Will changes the space around us,...”
 “Nothing in this world happens by chance”
 “People learn twenty-five percent from their teacher, twenty-five percent from listening to themselves, twenty-five percent from their friends, and twenty-five percent from time.”
 “You have two choices, to control your mind or to let your mind control you.”
 “They say that extroverts are unhappier than introverts and have to compensate for this by constantly proving to themselves how happy and contented and at ease with life they are.”
“Everything, absolutely everything on this earth makes sense, and even the smallest things are worthy of our consideration.”

“I wanted to...feel hatred and love, despair and tedium-- all those simple, yet foolish things that make up everyday life but that give pleasure to your existence. If one day I could get out of here, I would allow myself to be crazy, Everyone is indeed crazy, but the craziest are the ones who don't know they are crazy; they just keep repeating what others tell them to.”
“Anyone who lives in her own world is crazy. Like schizophrenics, psychopaths, maniacs. I mean people who are different from others.'
Like you?'
“But time, as well as healing all wounds, taught me something strange too: that it's possible to love more than one person in a lifetime. I remarried. I'm very happy with my new wife, and I can't imagine living without her. This, however, doesn't mean that I have to renounce all my past experiences, as long as I'm careful not to compare my two lives. You can't measure love the way you can the length of a road or the height of a building.”
 “She would consider each day a miracle - which indeed it is, when you consider the number of unexpected things that could happen in each second of our fragile existences.”
 “How many of us will be saved the pain of seeing the most important things in our lives disappearing from one moment to the next? I don't just mean people, but our ideas and dreams too: we might survive a day, a week, a few years, but we're all condemned to lose. Our body remains alive, yet sooner or later our soul will receive the mortal blow. The perfect crime - for we don't know who murdered our joy, what their motives were, or where the guilty parties are to be found...they too are the victims of the reality they created.”
 “I want to continue being crazy; living my life the way I dream it, and not the way the other people want it to be.”
 “Personal growth has its price, and she was paying it without complaint.”
 “Death frees from the fear of dying”
 “LIVE. If you live, god will live with you. If you refuse to run his risks, he'll retreat to that distant heaven and be merely a subject for philosophical speculation.”
 “What does learning mean: accumulating knowledge or transforming your life?”
 “Many people don't allow themselves to love...because there are a lot of things at risk a lot of future and a lot of past.”
 “We all live in our own world. But if you look up at the starry sky - you'll see that all the different worlds up there combine to form constellations, solar systems, galaxies.”
 “Collective madness is called sanity ..”

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