Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Death be not proud

I did not have any idea that it was a gem of a book that I had picked up from that second hand shop.  "Death be not proud"  as the name suggests deals with death and ought to leave the reader emotionally drained and depressed towards the end, but that is not the case.  As the author, John Guther Sr. himself says - "There are other criteria for measuring a life as well as its duration, quality, intensity.  But for us there is no compensation, except that we can go to him though he cannot come to us.  For others, I would say that it was his spirit and only his spirit that kept him alive against such dreadful obstacles for so long - this is the central pith and substance of what I am trying to write as a mournful tribute not only to Johny but to the power, the wealth, the unconquerable beauty of human spirit, will and soul."

For people who love books, this will be a great read, a book which will set you thinking about the ingenuity of human spirit and the great gift that ever day brings along.

SYNOPSIS:  This is the story of John Gunther Jr. who was diagnosed with a malignant tumor of brain and given only weeks to live.  He not only did fight it out for 15 months, but completed his class assignments without attending classes, received his diploma along with his classmates, undergoing all the formalities including a quarter mile walk to church on the day of convocation.  (This is a boy who had just turned 17 and was losing his left side strength and functions).  In the meantime, between the heavily straining operations, he found to communicate with Albert Einstein on "Unified field theory," had serious discussions with the doctors regarding the tumor, the tests, the results and also brought a smile to the face of everyone who came in touch with him, from the liftman to the nurses, doctors, barber, not to forget other patients.

Let me finish this post with Johny's prayer.

                                          Unbeliever's prayer
Almighty God
Forgive me for my agnosticism
For I shall try to keep it gentle, not cynical
nor a bad influence
And O!
if thou are truly in the heaven
accept my gratitude
for all thy gifts
and I shall try
to fight the good fight.

~ John Gunther Jr
May 1946.

NOTE:  This post was written in February 2007 while I was working in Coimbatore. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Deekay, for this discovery. I will be looking out for this book.