What 'The Fault in Our Stars' meant to me!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Two days ago, when I was walking through the shelves of books trying to recollect where the Crossword guys placed The Fault In Our Stars, I hear the voice in my mind asking me a few questions, ignoring my attempt to recall the exact rack. Seems like it was trying to make me realize that I did not want to read it in the first place.
"Why did you change your mind?"
"There's always no compulsion in reading your friend's suggestions. It's not like they're gonna stop being friends if you don't read it. Or is it LIKE THAT?"
"Did you forget that you're a sucker for happy endings and that you hate sad endings abysmally?"
"What is WRONG with you?
Ignoring it, I walked past the shelves with tiny boards on them saying 'Self-help', 'Young-Adult', 'Romance' and I finally reached the best sellers section. I grabbed a paperback copy and proceeded to the billing counter and bought the book.

Cutting back to a couple of weeks before that day, I had a long talk about this book with my closest friends. One of my friends, who's not sentimental with works of fiction, said that this book made her cry. Also, one day when I was travelling back home from work, I saw a woman in her thirties sort of welling up in her eyes reading it.
"Whoa!" I thought, "I got to check this thing out. And besides, the movie version has got Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort."
But, I didn't buy the book immediately, I finished off the books that are lying on the shelves of my mini-library and since, I've got nothing left to read and bought the book.

Back to the moment at the Store -
"This one at least better be half-good as my friends said." was my first thought when I picked it up. Of course, the cover page with sky-blue background and those fluffy black and white clouds with words that appeared to be written with chalk was impressive.

I couldn't read the book the day I bought it, because I was stuck with some work. So, the next day, I started reading it leisurely. But believe it or not, this one ended up as one of my fastest-reads (I finished it in less than one-day).

And what impact did 'The Fault in Our Stars' have/had on me? What did it mean to me?
Well, here are the answers!

From the moment I turned to the first page of the book, I was hooked. I was smiling genuinely at Hazel Grace Lancaster's narration. An adept imaginer that I have always been, I got into the world of Hazel and Gus without much difficulty. And I wished I'd always stayed there. (It was even easier for my imagination that Shai and Ansel are already Hazel and Gus and I need not picture someone else on my own. Yes I was a hypocrite before. I couldn't digest the fact that the actors who played siblings in Divergent are playing lovers here. But then, at the end of the day, they're ACTING! And that's about it)

It was a smooth read. I could see myself exploring their fictional world with, their stories - not just the cancer ones, of course! I smiled, laughed, cried, felt good and bad, contemplated (even about An Imperial Affliction and The Price of Dawn) all through the book.

Earnestly and elaborately talking about my experience with the book, it gave me a lots of firsts! And a lot to think and feel grateful about! It is no doubt, the first time I read a book without watching its movie first, as well as the only book which I read page by page (I have this weird habit of reading the ending of the books first and then start from the beginning). It is also the first time I’ve totally loved the male protagonist – everything about him (I’ve always been Jane Austen Guys’ girl and this is the first time I found someone else to adore as much I adore the heroes of the regency era).

Augustus Waters, his impeccable charm and gaiety bewitched me. (Obviously being a sucker for fictional heroes, I'm inclined to be more interested in Augustus 'Gus' Waters than Hazel Grace Lancaster. But I've got to say, both the characters are beautifully portrayed that I loved Hazel as much as I loved Gus. Okay, maybe a little less) I thoroughly enjoyed every word that described how the relation between Hazel and Gus grows. I wouldn't spill many beans because I would like to keep the things intact for people who haven't read it and want to. (It is very rare for a person like me to keep the mouth shut about books and movies) All I could say is adrenaline kept pumping high in my body all the time I read anything about Hazel and Gus. A little after 200 pages is where it all started. Tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn't stop them for more than half-an-hour straight. (A little sappy movie or book, I start leaking out from my eyes but THIS, this brought out all the vulnerability in me.) Towards the end of the book, I was still weeping but there was some kind of weird fulfilment in my heart.

This book, which I picked just out of curiosity and because my friends suggested it, turned out to be something much more than just a book for me.

The fault in my stars gave tears in my eyes, both of joy and sadness. It has given me so much to think about - love, life, pain and death. (Honestly, I wasn't half matured as Gus or Hazel when I was 16)

It taught me that you need not live forever in order to experience the best in your life. Just a few memorable moments with your loved ones are better than eternity. One true love is not just for the healthy ones, it's for literally each and every one. All that you have to do is grab and make hold of it while it lasts.

This star-crossed love tale is a bundle of philosophies and lessons for life. Two teenagers dwelling in the precarious world of cancer, support groups and idyllic life find the true meaning of most tender concepts of universe like life and death, love, friendships and other relationships, etc. in true company of each other.

The minute I finished the book, my heart was filled with void, a grief that it ended leaving me with agony. But as John Green said, that's the thing about pain, it needs to be felt.

But later, when I pulled up myself together, I thought deep. And now, I don't fear death anymore. I learnt a lot more about appreciating the life and living it at the best. And I hope for a love like Hazel and Gus's, no matter if it is for a little while, because, some infinities are bigger than other infinites.