I think I had an eye on this one before it’s launch. And you know the plausibility that a book is a best-seller when you see it being omnipresent with all the roadside book-waale-bhaiyas. Hence, I picked it, with no thought.
My early acquaintances with Michelle Obama have been through her ingenious speeches. I remember I was drawn towards one of her witty phrases which worked for the little me, in the late teen years when funnily only heart breaks are so catastrophic to us, (and not the present toughs of turning twenty something, the existential crisis-okay, I’ll not crib about adulting here); it went like: ‘there is no boy at this age that is cute enough or interesting enough to stop you from getting your education’. (One of my closest friends still remembers this).
So, yes, very many reasons, and I knew its going to be one of my most enlightening reads for 2019 already.
Coming to the book, it’s divided into three parts, Becoming Me, Becoming Us, Becoming More
The ‘Becoming Me’ is simple. Simple in a way that it’s too relatable in many ways, where she talks about her growing up years, her school routine, playing in her room all alone with her dolls, feeling sunny when things went by set routines, and Sunday visits to grandpas and grandmas, the vivid memories that stay with you. Her solo aims then, to fit in the approved conventional careers to make a comfortable living, eventually becoming a top shot lawyer from Havard. All the time answering that one question in mind, ‘Am I good enough?’. There are also things we many not directly relate with, growing up with racial discrimination, its impact on the neighborhoods, impact on shaping the personality of a growing teen. The question then sometimes loud, ‘Am I good enough?‘.
The ‘Becoming Us’ brings into picture her initial days with Barack Obama, an exceptionally bright law student, someone you may visualize having a sort of superior intelligence who ‘inhales’ hefty philosophies as beach side reads and with a goal to serve the community, and not just settle into a high-end, posh office. From being a lady who desired to fit into the conventional career, and resisting herself to fall for this man, she eventually does fall for him, and how. Somehow Barack’s drive for working for the larger concerns, something beyond self, ignites in her the drive to come out of the monotony, and do something real that quenches that drive. We know where they land up with that zeal.
‘Becoming More’ part may seem something abstract as one can’t imagine living in the White House, yet through her narration, you live the hardships of being out there, working in the eyes of public scrutiny, being the FLOTUS and POTUS, and also the parents to two young daughters, and embracing the shame and the praise that comes with the work. You learn the power of her story-telling, and the compassionate and path-breaking work through their campaigns for nutrition, youth education, and the need for minorities to raise a voice.
-more than an autobiography, it has a plethora of adages that start making neural connects in your brain, coming from two brilliant beings, that you just wish they make an impact on you. You do wish to emulate them in may be the teeniest weeniest way.
A wonderful read. I was down with the flu and had a long leave from work and this was the perfect savor for those days.
I am no one to give a rating to this, it’s plain phenomenal.
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end”.