Saturday, September 8, 2007

a long way gone

'a long way gone' is the title of the book that i read in the past week. The book is written by Ishmael Beah, who tells us about his journey through a troubled childhood that was infested with civil war. He is a child growing up in the African country of Sierra Leone. he himself fought in the war as a 'child soldier' doing his bit for the country and trying to avenge the torturous death of his family members.
Through this book we get to see what war looks like through the eyes of a child, why he thinks it is justified, how he forgets his childhood, how quickly he learn to kill and also not get affected by it. Child soldiers are a reality in the war torn nations of our existing world. Ishmael is one of the lucky few who got a chance to come back to "normal" life, get rehabilitated, get rid of the drug addictions, the war-nightmares, get a family & above all get a better life.
The following passage is from the book that i liked a lot
''We must strive to be like the moon." An old man in Kabati repeated this sentence often to people who walked past his house on their way to the river to fetch water, to hunt, to tap palm wine; and to their farms. I remember asking my grandmother what the old man meant. She explained that the adage served to remind people to always be on their best behaviour and to be good to others. She said that people complain when there is too much sun and it gets unbearably hot, and also when it rains too much or when it is cold. But, she said, no one grumbles when the moon shines. Everyone becomes happy and appreciates the moon in their own special way. children watch their shadows and play in its light, people gather at the square to tell stories and dance through the night. A lot of happy things happen when the moon shines. there are some of the reasons why we should want to be like the moon.

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