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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Lost Horizon



I had read  Lost Horizon almost when i was a kid. The times after exams.. generally exams ended around December first week...and those long, lazy winter breaks at home. Physical activity used to be almost nil and so were other entertainments, well it worked for me fine..as i gulped down quite a number of books during those times. School being closed, could hardly meet friends who used to stay far off and no there weren,t phones in those days. It was like being in a world of my own...onset of teenage is a brilliant time for those kind of things. Anyway during those days someone gave me Lost Horizon to read.

It took a while to fall in love with Shangri La...but the magic of books they do take you where actually you have never been or never can be..and you actually start living in the place with the characters as long as you finish reading the book. I think it was the world of monastery in the forbidden land of Tibet..and how the four persons from normal world lose track of time there. A place where time stood still and one didn,t age, nor did anyone run after money and other worldly stuff. I think this was what captivated Conway the main protagonist...the mysticism of the east, a world outside the world and the timelessness of it all. The book had aroused my senses..and for a few days i had virtually lived in Shangri la ... can it exist...does it exist...

With Conway the reader is mesmerized by Shangri La, the monastery, the gold mines...but where gold has no value and the mysterious Tibetan woman in the monastery who plays the piano. An insight into the monastery and Lamas...and Conway,s encounter with the chief Lama wherein he was asked if he was ready to take over...  It was thrilling as an outsider was beckoned into this strange land and then trusted with its sacrosanct inheritance and Conway,s dilemma... this timeless land with the mysterious woman... away from the world of turbulent wars on one hand and the normal world he was in, call of normal life and normal needs.. what would he choose...

I waited breathlessly would Conway take up his new role in the monastery...but the lure of life..his assistant decided to flee, arranges everything..and his astonishment at finding the mysterious woman...who resembled emancipation and all things sacred ready to elope to the normal world. I think this shock tilted the balance and Conway deserted Shangri La for mundane life...was i disappointed...may be. The ending was tragic  as Conway dies when he leaves the Utopian world for the lust of life in a normal world where he grows very old at once and he was brought to the hospital by a lady who was very very old...the mysterious sensual Tibetan lady who when out in the world aged by normal standards!!

I do not remember all i read, verified some facts from google..nor i have an excellent memory... but it was the feeling, the sensation i had still carried all these years.. of a forbidden Tibet and a mysterious Shangri la a land defied by space and time.. a land of magic.