With the ongoing pandemic all across the globe. We have hardly got things that we can do inside the house. I, speaking for myself cannot even finish counting all my fingers with enough work.
However, one small thing that I have started doing rigorously now that I’m at home 24×7 is finishing off books that I have had on my reading list for a while now. And if I am going to read books, why not share insight on them to everyone so that the spirit of reading good books is always kept alive.
To start this beautiful practice, I am going to be talking about an equally beautiful book.
Title: Tuesdays with Morrie
Author: Mitch Albom
Country: United State
Cost: 200 Rs.
Genre: Biographical, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Name of Publisher: Doubleday
Number of Pages: 192 pages
To define the book in one sentence, it would be- a dying man’s wisdom that moves people. This biographical novel written by New York Times Best Seller Author, Journalist and Musician, Mitch Albom in 1997 is a real-life experience between him and his Social Psychology Professor, Morrie Schwartz.
As a student, a young Albom had the chance to be in the class of Morrie Schwartz, a Social Psychology Professor at Brandeis University. What follows through this book is a beautiful relation of a student and his Professor, and how they study beyond books, beyond class while forming a beautiful bond of friendship.
The book’s main focus is on both of these characters. While at the University, Albom had always shared a deeper bond with his Professor. They often met outside normal class schedules for lunch and long walks, where they discussed life, of the culture around them and the inner works of human. It was evident that Morrie and his way of looking at life had deeply influenced a young Albom. On the day of graduation, Albom gifted Morrie a brown patent leather briefcase that had his name engraved over it.
He introduced Morrie to his parents where the latter told about how special Mitch was. He asked Mitch if he would stay in touch with him and he promised to do so. However, as the book progresses Mitch fails to do so as he struggles on his own to establish himself as a musician. During this course, Mitch also loses his Uncle, that he considered his closest to Pancreatic cancer. The death of his Uncle deeply affects Albom, who is traumatised and stirred up by it. He soon drops his dream of becoming a pianist and pursues a Journalism degree.
He soon establishes himself as a well-to-do Sports columnist and moves to Detroit with his wife. On one night after work as he flickers through different channels he stops on one, which airs the show Nightline, where he finds his Professor as a guest, after 16 years. His professor who was now a victim to ALS, or commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
In 1995, Morrie is interviewed by Ted Koppel on ABC’s Nightline, and Mitch sees him on TV. He decides to reconnect with Morrie. He travels to Morrie’s home. On meeting his Professor for the first time in sixteen years, Albom is overwhelmed with guilt, pain and sadness altogether, he freezes before he can say anything to him. Morrie, on the other hand, is now confined to a wheelchair having lost his ability to walk or use his legs due to the disease.
On finding Mitch at his doorstep he goes ahead to hug him and says, “My old friend,” He smiles, “You’ve come back at last.”
The name of the book comes from the meetings, Mitch and Morrie shared which were always on Tuesday. Morrie laughed at this coincidence and called it their day – “We’re Tuesday people.”
Mitch decides to spend the little time that his teacher has left beside him, hence together they sit down each Tuesday to do one last class together, where they will study the most important topic to exist- ‘The meaning of Life.’
Through the course of the book on each Tuesday, they talked on different topics including Love, Emotions, Fear and even death. The fact which sets this book apart here is the character which is Morrie. Even though he is dying and his health is deteriorating with every increasing day, he still regrets nothing and tries to make the fullest of his living days with listening to other people who have reached out to him from the Nightline show and spending his time around loved ones- which includes Mitch.
Reading this book will make you realize the elements of life that we usually forget or don’t pay much importance to it. Every part of life is important including Death, which is not something to be scared of or run away from. It is equally natural and a part of life.
In fact, the most favourite topic to read in this book would be Death because as soon as Morrie learns he is sick, until the end, he doesn’t hold back. What strikes the most about him is he is not afraid of his death. Morrie says to Mitch in a chapter of the book, “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” This might be one of the most beautiful quotes to have across which when interpreted would mean when you embrace death and lose the fear of it, you will make every moment that you’re alive count.
It is one of those books that is equally heartwarming yet painstakingly beautiful. By the end of reading it, you will be a whirlpool of emotions and maybe you’ll even cry and will have a hard time understanding if they’re tears of joy or sadness.
The book has topped the New York Times Non-Fiction Best-sellers of 2000. An unabridged audiobook was also published, narrated by Albom. In 1999, the book was also adapted into a television film directed by Mick Jackson and starred Hank Azaria and Jack Lemmon.
To end the book, in conclusion, I’d like to write down one quote that was used in the middle of the book by American Historian, Henry Adams: