BOOK REVIEW

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

9781473635302

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is a memoir like none other. Trevor Noah, well known for his wit and comedic way of saying things who put this best quality of his in stand up shows and the Daily Show gives us this amazing insight of his life of being Born a Crime in an apartheid South Africa. He begins to tell his story of how his mother threw him off a moving car when he was nine years old. Before we could gasp at a nine year old being thrown out of the car, he gets up dusts himself and runs with us in a tow, like he does it all the time.

The best thing about this is, it doesn’t feel for a reader that he is reading someone’s story. It is like, we go meet Trevor in a coffee shop and he tells us his story: the good, the bad, the worst and the best, in a way that one doesn’t get bored.

His way of telling his story and the way he makes us fall in love with his mother is extraordinary. He told the story in a way that he made us laugh when he told about his tough times like being lost in a place where he couldn’t belong and he made us sad for a simple thing as to being privileged owning a  CD player, he also made us excited when he was running for his life and made us scared when almost got caught for shoplifting. He has the art of telling his story that keeps us turning the pages one after the other and left eager for more.

“My Mom did what school didn’t,

She taught me to think”

-Trevor Noah

It’s a simple sentence, he told and proved over and over in his life story, that teaching a child to think is the best thing a mother can do. This is one of the many reasons, we were able to fall in Love with Patricia Noah.

A classic memoir will inspire you or give you an insight on a deeper level. Then again, it depends on who’s story it is and how they are saying it. In this case, when Trevor Noah told his story, he not only inspired, but he made us laugh, think, run, jump, dance for tunes from his Winamp and gave us a whole new meaning to “Go Hitler”.

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QUOTES

Dear Dad,

You lifted me up and gave me wings and asked me to measure the sky and beyond.

You mended my wounds and told my scars were beautiful when I broke my wings.

You gave me strength and made me smile.

I’ve come so far from the shy little girl who hugged your legs.

I flew high and far and someday I might touch the stars or even the sun,

But I will always be your little girl.

Happy father’s day to the man who set impossibly high standards for how a man should treat the women in their lives.

WRITINGS

Rain

First rain of the year. I got a whiff of the rain that is about to pour down even before it arrived. I was on my evening walk and I smelled the familiar scent of rain wetting the sun scorched land somewhere far away.  So I hurried back home and waited for the first rain of the year with my customary cup of tea and something hot and crunchy to go with it. I sat there in my terrace listening to the rumbling of the clouds and flashes of lightning here and there. Just that little rumbling and the familiar scent of the rain faraway brought back many memories. So I watched the rain finally arrive, thinking of all those years that I have learned to love rain.

I remember those early mornings I used to wake up to the sudden drop in temperature and little water droplets running a race down my window.

I remember those early summer rains that ruined our plan for playing the whole day outside in the best way possible; now we get to make paper boats and conduct paper boat races of our own.

I remember the nights me, my sister and my parents huddled up in one blanket, jumping a foot every time a thunder clap and my dad telling us to recite the name of Arjuna (son of Indian god of thunder) so that he would protect us from the monsterous thunders and we dutifully reciting his name over and over again till his name turns into slurs and we no longer know what we are saying.

I remember school declaring holidays due to heavy rain so we rush back home with a sense of happiness that no Sundays can replace. Those only times watching news anxiously hoping that they would declare holiday the next day.

I remember running to terrace to pick up the clothes that are drying there, only to end up throwing the clothes in a filthy pile in a corner and dancing in the rain, jumping in tiny puddles on the floor. I also remember catching cold and my mom cursing that I never listen to her about anything and worrying that I might catch flu. But all that scolding and even the flu shots are worth it if we get to dance in the rain.

I remember driving up to the river after a big downpour to see if the river has filled up and the dam is full and feeling a familiar sense of happiness because a full dam means  that this years harvest will be good.

As I sit there sipping tea and listening to the steady rhythm of rain now falling, I realise with a tiny pang of jealousy and heart full of pride that the same rain is now helping another little girl create a series of memories that she will one day learn to cherish, just the way I did.

“Pluviophile – Lover of rain. Someone who finds happiness and peace in rainy days.”