The other day I was at the Strand store looking for books on topics that was a bit offbeat when my eyes fell on one that was sandwiched between two hard bound books. The title read-Three cups of tea. I pull it out idyllically. The front page of its paperback illustrated three kids clad in white shawls intently reading from copies of disheveled books and the subtitle read – ‘One man’s mission to promote peace one school at a time’. Intrigued a bit, I turn over the book to see what this was all about and with that brief description – K2, Karakoram and building schools, I out rightly make my mind to purchase this.
I rarely read when I’m not travelling to and back from work. But believe me, this is one book that’s kept me hooked to it for quite some time! The topic in hand, the lucid language, Intertwining of mountaineering and his mammoth project – I’m not sure which of these made it that gripping.
The first chapter scales you up the K2 in Mortenson’s shoes and as you read through, you’re literally made to experience his struggle for survival on the towering peaks. Touched by the hospitality shown by the villagers he makes a promise to change their lives for good. That one promise urges him to start on a project which gains mammoth proportions as time flies by. Through the chapters Relin, the co-author, dramatically brings about how Mortenson works against the wind to setup schools for Kids in villages in Pakistan that have been left untouched by any aspects of the modern world. The last few chapters brilliantly describe how important child education is and how it could be used as a powerful and detrimental factor in combating terrorism.
Reading at times gets you thinking on things much more important that what we keep doing to earn that morsel and secure our future. This is one of those rare books that would put you at shame for having effectively whiled away your time fruitlessly!