“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping.
You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie.
Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are note late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.
Man alone measures time.
Man alone chimes the hour.
And because of this, man alone suffers a paralysing fear that no other creature endures.
A fear of time running out.”
So succinctly put across. Yes, everyone feels that Time is like a Damocles’ sword hanging above one’s head. Humans alone are afraid of time running out – of growing old, of falling ill, of dying – of loved ones and oneself… well, the fears are innumerous. In the Time Keeper Mitch Album explores the value of Time.
Dor, the first man to count the hours; Alli, his wife who he loves so very dearly and their 6000 year old love story…
Victor, who longs for eternity…
Sarah, who wants no time…
Both want to stop the clock for different reasons…
And their fates are intertwined in the web of the deftly crafted plot by Mitch Albom. And it is the tale of Time. Time that is often taken for granted and appreciated only when one has nothing more left or very less left of it.
Though I took a week to read this ‘unputdownable’ book, it was only because Time was at a premium. 🙂 Every night I would take the book to read in bed, read two or three lines and drift to sleep, thanks to hectic day time schedules. I vaguely remember waking up in the middle of the night and switching off the lights! So much so I had to read the rest of this inspirational book first thing over the weekend.
This book also reminded me of the enthralling tale of the miser Ebenezer Scrooge whose ghost journeys through Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future to realise the value of relationships, charity and compassion – in the perennial classic of Charles Dickens – The Christmas Carol.
I also loved the way how the author has weaved the tale around myths and history with masterful ease – the Tower of Babel for instance. Pick up the book and curl up on a bean bag and yes, Read!!! 🙂
The remarkable juxtaposition of the two threads interwoven with the third one – of Dor, Father Time, is a clever technique. Notwithstanding some improbable situations (it is a fable after all) one never fails to imbibe the strong message of the story. Take care of the moments and days and years will take care of themselves.
Some lines simply captivated me for their wealth of meaning.
“And when hope is gone, time is punishment.”
“When we are almost alone is when we embrace another’s loneliness.”
“You really loved her?” “I would have given my life.” “Would you have taken it? “No child,” he said. “That is not ours to do. ”
“Time is not something you give back. The very next moment may be an answer to your prayer. To deny that is the most important part of the future.”
“Ends are for yesterdays, not tomorrows.”
“With endless time, nothing is special. With no loss or sacrifice, we can’t appreciate what we have.”
“… once we began to chime the hour, we lost the ability to be satisfied.”
“Everything man does today to be efficient, to fill the hour?” Dor said. “It does not satisfy. It only makes him hungry to do more. Man wants to own his existence. But no one owns time.”
I certainly feel that young people (many of whom get dejected about not getting what they want and for seemingly silly reasons contemplate taking their own life) must read this book. It is sure to teach them some valuable lessons. Nothing is worth killing onerself!