Sidharth Vardhan

Rumi and Forty Rules of Love

(A review of ‘Forty Rules of Love’,a novel by Elif Shafak Review first written on June 11, 2019) “Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness.” Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love) I had my doubts about the book. It looked like a love story with just amorous interpretation of selected Rumi quotes thrown in to produce some cliche rules. It is those things – Ella a married woman and housewife for years fall in ‘oh so forbidden’ love for a dashing Sufi writer with (no points for guessing) a tragic life while translating his book. This book, novel within the novel, ‘Sweet Blasphemy’ is about Shams To be honest, the author seems to be using Shams and Rumi to show her own views but in the end, I didn’t mind. Author’s use of mysticism often results in so many beautiful quotes and forwards a philosophical system in its own right. “it has been such a long time since I last knocked on God’s door that I’m not sure if He still lives in the same place.” Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love) “The sharia is like a candle,” said Shams of Tabriz. “It provides us with

Samarkand – A Review of Amin Maalouf Book

(A review of Samarkand,a novel by Amin Maalouuf First reviewed on May 6, 2019) “Omar Khayyam mourned his disciple with the same dignity, the same resignation and the same discreet agony as he had mourned other friends. ‘We were drinking the same wine, but they got drunk two or three rounds before me.’” Amin Maalouf (Samarkand) Among other things, this book has among its motifs – Omar Khayyam, Hassan-i Sabbah, Persian liberation efforts at the beginning of 20th century, Titanic, Mongols etc. Omar Khayyam Have you ever detests the ‘x’ of algebra during your math classes, well Omar Khayyam is the source of that ‘x’. “to represent the unknown in this treatise on algebra, Khayyam used the Arabic term shay, which means thing. This word, spelled xay in Spanish scientific works, was gradually replaced by its first letter, x, which became the universal symbol for the unknown.” Amin Maalouf (Samarkand) He was a polymath – a true polymath, not one of the modern-day self-claimed ones who learn basics of many fields without mastering any. Omar wrote thesis in maths and astronomy and wrote incredible poems famous all over the world – and that had a really strong influence on sufi

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