Shantaram

Gregory David Roberts has seen India with a clearer eye than I have. It will knock you off. But then I have'nt lived the adventures he has, so far.

A few weeks ago, at milktea's blog, I read about "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts. Last week, during traveling to Southwest, I read 100 pages (out of 900 odd pages) on the plane in one go. Certainly, one soon realizes that we are reading someone who is a poet and has a heart of gold. As I continue reading this book, let me leave you with two quotes:

"I was a revolutionary who lost his ideals in heroin, a philosopher who lost his integrity in crime, and a poet who lost his soul in a maximum-security prison. When I escaped from that prison, over the front wall, between two gun-towers, I became my country's most wanted man.

Luck ran with me and flew with me across the world to India, where I set up and ran a free clinic in a crowded Bombay slum. I joined the Bombay mafia, and worked as a gunrunner, a smuggler, and a counterfeiter. I was chained on three continents, beaten, stabbed, and starved. I went to war. I ran into the enemy guns. And when those wilderness years of hunted exile came to an end, when I changed my life, when I stopped running onto the knives and started running into the light of love instead, I wrote the novel, Shantaram, that was based on my wild and wicked life."

- Gregory David Roberts www.shantaram.com

"....Anyone who walks away from Shantaram untouched is either heartless or dead or both. I haven't had such a wonderful time in years."

- Jonathan Carroll, author of White Apples