Things Fall Apart

Is transformation good?

Have you experienced a transformation?

Have you been forced to endorse a transformation?

Did it make you feel better or made you regret?

****

What is a transformation? A Change; and every change has a cost attached to it. When an individual is faced with a situation which demands him/her to change, the first question is “Is it worth it?” “What is the cost attached to it?”

The fact is we are reluctant to change. The thought of a change makes us get afraid. We get attached to our conventional ways, beliefs, and practices. They become a part of our identity and foregoing those means sacrificing a part of ourselves, which is painful.

Recently I finished reading a book called “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. It is a powerful story of a tribesman called Okonkwo. Okonkwo is a self-made man, living his tribe’s principles with deep conviction. His every activity abides by the customs and traditions of the clan. He follows each of the rituals with sincerity- from the simple act of breaking nuts and offering it to the guests who visits his hut, to the harsh obligation of performing a killing as ordained by an ancient custom. He has grown up to be an exemplary character in his community- a powerful fighter, and an able family man with three wives and five children, feeding them all with his farm produce and creating proper shelters for them to live at ease, together. It is a commendable achievement for a man whose childhood was lived in obscurity, where, an irresponsible father had wasted all money and put the family in great debts.

Okonkwo respects his culture, stands strongly for it and makes sure his children learn it and carry forward the teachings of his forefathers. But, “Things start falling apart”

A situation arises which is unthinkable! Okonkwo is faced with a scenario which is challenging his faith. A man of steel, with a concrete belief in his ancestors, has come to a time when he is witnessing an unforeseen change. The circumstance demands that either he changes himself or loses everything.

When I finished reading this tale, I was tongue-tied. I was talking about the story with everyone while I was reading it, but when I finished it, I was speechless. The thought this book wants to drive its readers to is quite profound. I felt tiny, unable to comment on the conclusion. The effect was such that I did not read a book for the next 2-3 days because I just wanted the feeling to stay undiluted for some time.

Chinua Achebe is a fine writer. He writes straightforward. He doesn’t write any redundant sentence. Perhaps he even avoids describing events of happiness and dread with much explanation, leaving it to the imagination of readers to comprehend the degree of the joy or horror of it.

I am thankful to Ebby, who had recommended me this book.

I wrote this in response to Wordepress’  Daily Prompt Transformation.

things fall apart

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17 thoughts on “Things Fall Apart

  1. It’s an awesome read any day with lots of lessons captured inside. The thing that makes it a double pleasure for me is that I knew him personally and he was equally a fine gentleman ; at least from my growing up eyes when he lived in the same campus with my parents 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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