Sunday, August 16, 2015

The forty rules of love by Elif Shafak

Ella Rubeinstein, a 40 year old housewife,does not even realize what she is missing in her life.One fine day,her teenage daughter announces suddenly that she is getting married..to the love of her life, Ella gets shock of her life...not because of the marriage but with the realization that yes...love exists in this world..at least for some people.

At the same time she is working on a literary assignment for an agency to read a novel about Rumi written by a mystery man A.Z.Zahara.

Both stories unfold side by side- Rumi and Shams of Tabriz in the 13 th century Anatolia & Ella and Aziz.

Love transformed Rumi's life then and love is transforming Ella's life now. Love that went beyond routine and mundane...love that opened Rumi's  eyes ,heart and soul...love that also was pain ..... For someone residing in an  ivory tower and living a perfect life with admirers,disciples,followers and family who worship the ground you walk upon,spiritual exercises( visiting a tavern! lahaul vila quwat!) given by Shams turned Rumi's world upside down.

....and Ella is  in love with someone whom she met only through his book and emails....but she feels he is Shams....

The forty rules are rules of Shams ...rules of sufism...at a time where islam and humanity was under threat of Mongols, Rumi dared to swim against the current." The enemy is not outside us, but inside...Heaven and hell are inside us...shaitan and Allah are inside us."

The story is sprinkled with forty rules,each rule is a spiritual gem."How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves." " Make every journey, a journey within." " Do not despair that your life is turning upside doen...how do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come ?"

A must read, not only for the story and the superb writing but also for the spiritual insights it provides.The forty rules are like guiding stars..you feel peaceful, serene ,tranquil. You can not help falling for Shams... a saviour....Rumi met him and Ella met him as Aziz.....a person who can look into your eyes and see your soul...beautiful , complete ,whole being....who will help you in knowing yourself ....

A beautiful book !