The joys that few books seem to give the minute you are taken in to their world. There is nothing more to do as a reader but to give in. Maybe also read the book effortlessly and enjoy the moment you are in. The “mindfulness” as His Holiness, the Dalai Lama puts it beautifully. Like most books, I wasn’t intending to read this one immediately. It just happened. The timing was right for sure. I needed it and I will tell you why. The book in question is, “The Dalai Lama’s Cat” by David Michie.
I am not a fan of Buddhism. I do not know. I have never tried finding that out. So when I apprehensively picked up the book (going by the title), little did I know that I would enjoy it to this extent. The book is supposed to be a novel and it is – told from the perspective of a gorgeous Himalayan cat and no ordinary cat at that, from the perspective of Dalai Lama’s Cat. The book is narrated by the Cat, but of course and she tells us of her beginnings, how she was found by His Holiness, and how she wanted to become a cat worthy of him and his teachings.
Along the course of the book, the cat gives us spiritual lessons (which aren’t complex or hogwash), talking of the celebrities who visit His Holiness, their problems, the problems of the common man who is in touch with the monks and how it all comes together. The Cat (known to the monks and His Holiness) in so many ways brings out lessons from everyday living and for me to understand that, maybe I had to read a book of this nature.
Michie’s writing is full of humour and anecdotes. The writing is beautiful and simple. Michie has written several books on Buddhism and its teachings; however this one was the first I had read by him.
There have been immediate learnings which I have taken from the book (for instance mindfulness, the biggest of them all), which I never thought I would. For me, reading this book was magical, only because sometimes you need to read something so simple to make sense of the complex world around you. Maybe it is all about happiness after all and that too at the end of it all, depending on what is the end and how you plan to get there. I would definitely not say that this book was of the self-help category. In fact not at all. The other thing that I loved was that it was narrated by a cat and I do tend to have a soft corner for them, so that is also what led me to read this book.
“The Dalai Lama’s Cat” is a charming small book that has the complete warmth of storytelling and will make you smile on almost every single page. At least it managed to do that superbly to me. Michie’s writing like I said is almost like the simple things of life – full of joy and wonder. A great read.