Dreams from My Father

On reading ‘Dreams from My Father’
I picked up this story of Obama's mixed inheritance to read on my flight to India. The longest transit of my life notwithstanding, I only managed to read half the book. That, however, is not the point; I had resolved to read nothing more intense than Calvin and Hobbes and perhaps a Wodehouse or two, just to recover from the trauma of back-to-back reads of first the God of Small Things (yes a decade late) and The Kite Runner. (Don't get me wrong; reading, I love. Human misery and the darker side of life, depicted in excruciating detail, leaves me reeling and yearning for balloons and blossoms) And so, I was half expecting to give up after the first chapter under the weight of the matter and could see myself desperately reaching for an escape- book when I packed this one into my carry-on. But that didn't happen. I am not making any claims as to to the read-worthiness of the book, nor to my skills on reviewing such. But I did feel the irresistible urge to share some (his) words of wisdom, all too familiar, but lost somewhere in the crevices of our memories, with anyone who might chance upon this blog.

In the last weeks leading up to the conclusion of the Democratic primaries, the media was cashing in on every aspect of the protagonists' public, publicly private and privately intimate lives. Not to be left behind, Costco had slashed the prices on 'Dreams...' and 'The Auacity of Hope...' Between his dreams for himself and America, and the dreams handed down to him from his father, I picked the latter. And I'm glad I did. What struck me was the ease and simplicity with which he peeled away the layers of human emotion underlying inexplicable behaviour, his understanding of the veneer of arrogance for what it was; a shroud covering fear and diffidence deep beneath it. But mostly his empathy and above all his honesty were deeply moving. This paragraph in particular hit a nerve somewhere and made me sit up straight as I read through....