I have been waiting to read this book since 2013. That is like 5 whole years!
A combination of self made-excuses, lack of budget and my own procrastination kept me away. Every time I picked up this big book, I would crave to read it with all my heart, but then I would put it back on the shelves of the bookstore. The bookshop had a lovely name, Crossword. I really loved the store. But the books were always out of my budget.
Fate and prayers bought me here, to a land that has offered me a free pass at my book heaven, the public Library.
So here I am, completely transported to a whole new level of reading. “INFERNO” by Dan Brown.
This thick 600 something paged book captured the reality, a horrific yet real picture of the world.
A little review; Robert Langdon, an Arts Professor at an American University is being chased along with a young intellectual doctor in a hunt for a bio hazard that a mad scientist has created to destroy the world. A real thriller that puts the reader in for a ride wondering who is on the right path and if the world famous Langdon has really done a major theft. The book runs intricately through world Art history, majorly focusing on the commendable works of Dante Alighieri.
What hit me from the book:
It took me a whole week to completely read the book. This wasn’t a book to skim. I checked out each mentioned historic site and its importance on the web. Exquisitely described, the city of Florence and Turkey has landed on my places to visit list. Someday.
The levels of hell as expressed by Dante sparked my interest to a great deal. Being a Muslim, I have read about the horrors of hell. But nothing prepared me for the horrendous visual trip as is the painting by Botticelli for the Divine Comedy, a description of the levels of hell mapped by Dante. The concept of passing through the levels of punishment, meeting Satan himself, walking out reverse to the purgatory and finally to paradise. It was a real treat to the eyes. It also made me wonder, how deep must have the two geniuses thought on the topic, read scriptures and books and conjured up the most horrific depiction of Hell I have ever seen. Langdon finds this map of hell in a projection canister he takes along with him, trying to unravel the mystery.
Hunting for clues, Dan Brown has painted a visual tour of the city of Venice, Florence and Istanbul as Langdon races to unravel the mystery.
Standing from a distance, the book revolves around the core issue of the world, the rising population and the consequences of it. A threatening reference to the Black Plague that terrified the world centuries ago, Bertrand Zobrist creates a mystifying virus that threatens the population. All the top officials along with a powerful shady organisation join hands to close in on the virus, only to find out that it has been released into the atmosphere and has embedded itself into the genes of the world population. Zobrist’s assistant who is the only one who knows everything about the secret, herself hides her identity so well, that I did not have the slightest clue. When her cover blew, I was like Whoaaaa!!! Dr Sienna Brooks, eventually realises the gravity of the issue, tells in the whole story and brings out the truth. The virus was meant to cause planet-wide selective infertility that would narrow down the population without any harm as in the Plague.
This raised the question of how wrong is wrong. How immoral is being immoral. Who decides that. According to Zobrist, he did a service to humanity by creating the virus that would narrow down the population and allow the living ones to a better life of technological advancement and comforts of life. According to the WHO and every other scientist and humanitarian thinker, a human does not have the right to control the fertility and choice of reproduction on behalf of another human, let alone the planet. That is morally and ethically wrong to meddle with the genes of others no matter what the justifications. Zobrist however argued with his logic that over population would lead to the collective death of people.
This is a very intriguing and debatable topic. I believe that none should meddle with the way of nature. The end is definite. Till then, maybe we should focus on making the most of our lives and the ones we love. Maybe we should stop being judgmental. Maybe we should focus more on forgiving than in breaking apart. Maybe we should spread more love and think less of reasons to hate. Maybe we should be happy with what we have than to let the deadly sins overtake us for want of more.
Why this book fit my interest? I lust after intelligence. Reading a book filled with an insightful viewpoint, etched in enlightening knowledge, painting history better than school books, throwing a fresh limelight on writers, painters and philosophers, completely blow me away.
For me, an intelligent book is like the eagle that flies higher than the rumbling clouds. A clear sighted map that guides the reader, makes a difference, leaves a mark.
Inferno did that to me. I am a person of depth. I like to think about different things. About concepts, about solutions to problems.
I am here 2:00 am in my room, unable to sleep, unable to shoo away my laptop for the night. I have a fire in me. The fire that is making me type away with fury. There is more to this world than just eating and running chores. No, there is more to it.
There was a fresh breeze that flew through me each time I turned the pages of Inferno. When I finished reading the book, the world looked different. Every human looked different. It made me powerful. It made me think that a little person like me could make a huge impact in the lives around me. I could change a lot in the world if I wanted to. It takes a good and right education, self power and confidence, an enlightened mind to drive a person to make a change.
Maybe…someday..I might write out my thoughts to the world….