Asian Writers

June is dedicated to authors with ASIAN ORIGIN....review of books in this category will be posted all month....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch

Rating - * * *

This book is all about fullfilling your dreams. I wont restrict it to merely childhood dreams, but just about any dreams that we dreamt, either as a child, a teen or an adult. In a simple style, Randy Pausch talks about how he achieved his. The book is filled with anecdotes, some funny, some enlightening and some touching moments.
Randy Pausch is not someone who belongs to the league of the likes of Bill Gates. Yes, he is brilliant than the average people and has the charisma that’s difficult to find, yet he does not preach. In fact he stays away from this line. He talks about his negative traits - his cockiness, his arrogance, things which he still working calling himself a "recovering jerk". He does dispense advice, in a matter-of-fact way...but he has the interest of his students in his heart. It’s not like the things he has written about - hard work, humility, earnestness, being what we are - is not something that we didn’t hear before, we did, and we all reacted to it in the predicted way - rolling the eyes. In his non-coercive way he made me identify with him, the things that he did as a kid and making me want to have an attitude like him for the life that we are blessed with it. He didn’t have a great childhood in terms of being lavished with whatever he wanted. He grew up with restrictions but still saw the bright side.

When I think back, I find it hard to recall when it was last that I wrote a hand written letter, a card or a note. Yet I always look for the yellow sticky-note in any documents that I receive from my father. It’s the small remind-me note that he uses which has just two line - but handwritten, signed with a "take care, Papa" or something similar. A simple note but something that I cherish. That’s why when Randy Pausch emphasized in his lecture, the importance of a handwritten note, I knew what he meant. In today's world, a handwritten thank you note is priceless - simply because not many people thank each other these days and the number of people who actually take the pain to write it is even less, assuring us that the feeling is genuine.

Growing up, when I saw my other friends having more relaxed rules, I used to feel jealous and used to grumble. But in this grumbling I perhaps missed out the subtle changes that these so called rules brought within me and helped shape up some of the good traits (whatever little) that I have... None of us are born with an ideal life - a happy childhood, a successful career, a happy married life and so on - we have to work hard in each of these phases and make the best of what we get. Life is too short to sit around and whining about it.

One day we may wake up to realize that we have just 3 months to live and if that be the case can our last lecture be equally satisfactory?. We can, if we decide too, for in Randy Pausch's world it is never too late. Perhaps we can’t change the cards we are dealt, but we can change the way we play the hand....

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