Reading makes one to visualize the scenes and concocts his own world, fill with fantasies and desires. Books, be it fiction or nonfiction, give you a meaningful insight into your life, and make you ponder and reflect on your inner conflicts.
Pages dog-eared, books resting on your night-stand, the smell of yellowed pages and sometimes ribbon of bookmark flapping vigorously.
During Covid-19, a lot of book sellers have popped up on social platforms to provide you quality reading material at your doorsteps. However, many of us took a tour of our old collection, dusted the stack of books resting on the shelves or hiding in the closets. Few turned toward PDF versions, scrolling on their tablets and iPhone. But, the real pleasure of reading lies in holding the books in your hands, and taking tea or coffee from a full-sized mug.
Pages dog-eared, books resting on your night-stand, the smell of yellowed pages and sometimes ribbon of bookmark flapping vigorously. What a pleasure to read!
I really had no idea what I would feel like after reading an illustrated novel by Thi Bui.
Compassionate, candid, and emotional
The Best We Could Do, a graphic memoir by Thi Bui, gives an insight into how one goes through the atrocities of war and finally settled for a new start in America. Thi Bui recounts her family harrowing escape in the aftermath of South Vietnam’s fall in 1970s and the challenges they faced in the new place. She discusses her struggle as a mother, and the true meaning of being a parent. Parents’ sacrifices are realized only when one enters the realm of parenthood.
Bui’s parents came from the different background, yet they got married. Her father had a troubled childhood; her grandmother was thrown out of the house by her grandfather and her father never saw his mother again. However her mother’s father was a civil engineer and lived in Cambodia in houses provided by government. They had servants, cooks etc. They moved to Vietnam because of the killing of Vietnamese in Cambodia.
Thi Bui was born in Sai Gon, 1975, three months before the South Vietnam lost the war. Her parents made a decision to flee Vietnam secretly by boat. They feared for their children, their education and future. Her parents stayed in a refugee camp in Kuala Lumpur. She along with her mother and three siblings made to US, and her father joined them later. They’re sponsored by her mother’s sister and her husband in Los Angeles, US. Later on, they moved to California for a warmer climate.
It’s more of a visual experience and pictures carry a lot more meaning when you look at it deeply. The artwork really moved me, made me to ponder what our grandparents have gone through when they migrated to Pakistan in 1947.