Brick Lane

Shari has been reading Monica Ali's Brick Lane and, though it was slow going at first, she's enjoying it considerably. She read out one particularly poignant passage and I thought I'd share. It's from a conversation between Chanu and Shahana. Charu says:

I don't know Shahana. Sometimes I look back and I am shocked. Every day of my life I have prepared for success, worked for it, waited for it, and you don't notice how the days pass until nearly a lifetime has finished. Then it hits you - the thing you have been waiting for has already gone by. And it was going in the other direction. It's like I've been waiting on the wrong side of the road for a bus that was already full.

This is from the point of view of immigrants in the UK but it could equally well apply to us folks running after the American Dream. John Lennon is even more blunt:

Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

Disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and its hugely bungled aftermath somehow helps to put a lot of things in perspective. If you haven't given already, Red Cross is a good place to start.

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- September 9, 2005 9:38 PM // Books , Diaspora