I haven’t posted here for a while now, for various reasons.. one of which is that I was engrossed in reading a couple of awesome books. One of them is ‘Eat Pray Love’, which deserves a review all to itself, some other day. The other book, which I read close on the heels of EPL, is ‘Three cups of tea’, which is a book regaling the tales of a wonderful humanitarian of our times, Greg Mortenson.
Greg Mortenson was an avid climber, who strayed into a mountainous village in Pakistan after losing his way during his descent from the peak K2 ( which he unsuccessfully tried to scale). This serendipitious meeting between Mortenson and the villagers of Korphe in 1993 has resulted, 17 years later, in a network of more than 130 schools built in the remotest areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson came away from the village of Korphe, determined to build a school for the villagers whose kindness had saved his life. In the coming years, battling through indifference, cultural barriers and the forbidding terrain, Mortenson expanded his vision and built schools throughout the Karakoram region, reaching the most impoverished villages. Mortenson’s efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan continued through the turbulent period that saw the Kargil conflict, 9/11, the ousting of the Taliban and the Iraq war. Mortenson was waging his own war on terrorism, by making education and a better life accessible to the poor.
Read this book for a rich, interesting account of life, traditions, and values in these regions. Read it to gain a new, maybe a more sympathetic perspective of our neighbors to the west. And most of all, read this account to be awed and blown away by what one man’s will and passion could achieve. Also, check out the website of the Central Asia Institute, which Greg Mortenson co-founded.
If you’re in between books or looking for something to read, I’d strongly recommend this book. It is up there in the league of books that could leave a permanent imprint on a person’s life and thinking.