“The soul has no culture. The soul has no nations. The soul has no color or accent or way of life. The soul is forever. The soul is one. And when the heart has it’s moment of truth and sorrow, the soul can’t be stilled.”

When I was bed ridden last year and part of this year, my HR Manager went out of her way to make me comfortable. In one of her care packages was a gigantic book mixed in with the baby wipes and aqueous cream. I took one look at the 939+ pages rolled over and went to sleep. For a year the book has sat unread on my desk at home.

After my last set of exams I found myself wide awake in bed in the wee hours because no one notified my internal clock that exams were over. I picked up the book and flipped one page and the next and the next. It was rather hard to get into it at first but a chapter or two in, I fell in love.

According to Wikipedia, Shantaram is a 2003 novel by Gregory David Roberts, in which a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escaped from Pentridge Prison flees to India. He tells the story of what happened in those years of questionable freedom.

I highly recommend that you read this. Here are some of my favourite quotes. I battled hard to stop myself from adding more.

    • “The cloak of the past is cut from patches of feeling ,and sewn with rebus threads. Most of the time , the best we can do is wrap it around ourselves for comfort or drag it behind us as we struggle to go on .”
    • “Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. In the end that’s all there is: love and its duty, sorrow and its truth. In the end that’s all we have – to hold on tight until the dawn”
    • “One of the ironies of courage, and the reason why we prize it so highly, is that we find it easier to be brave for someone else than we do for ourselves alone.”
    • “Sometimes the lion must roar, just to remind the horse of his fear”
    • “If you make your heart into a weapon, you end up using it on yourself.”
    • “Trouble is the only property that poor people are allowed to own.”
    • “Didier once told me, in a rambling, midnight dissertation, that a dream is the place where a wish and a fear meet. When the wish and the fear are exactly the same, he said, we call the dream a nightmare.”
    • “Some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you..”
    • “Justice is a judgment that is both fair and forgiving. Justice is not done until everyone is satisfied, even those who offend us and must be punished by us. Justice is not the only way we punish those who do wrong. It is the way we try to save them.”
    • “Some loves are like that. Your heart starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, & your self-respect & independence. After a while you start throwing people out – friends, everyone you know. & it’s still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking, & you know it’s going to take you down with it. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of people. I think that’s why I’m sick of love. – Karla”
    • “They claim a hidden corner of our hearts, all those moments that stay with us unscreamed. That’s where loves, like elephants, drag themselves to die. It’s the place where pride allows itself to cry.”


I only give it 4.5 stars because of the length otherwise it is excellent.