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SUPERBOOK: Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Richard Bach a pilot, and the author in this book tells the tale of a defiant rebel ? a seagull called Jonathan.
None | By Chinmai Gupta, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2006 12:42 PM IST

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  Richard Bach
• Price — Rs 294
• Publication — Harper Collins

So many times in life, we do things that seem to have no meaning for the people around us, but for us, these celestial visions, are ones that define our uniqueness as individuals.

Richard Bach a pilot, and author of three books on the mysteries of flying, in this book tells the tale of a defiant rebel — a seagull called Jonathan.

His story is about passion, about following one's dreams and having the courage to be different. However harsh or indifferent society may seem sometimes, what is important is to know what one wants in life, and have a burning desire to be able to accomplish just that.

If Jonathan, the seagull had lived according to the rules set for his clan, life would have been easy. All it would entail would be fluttering between food and sea. But Jonathan had a higher purpose in life.

He wanted to learn how to fly. With the ocean beneath him, he would stretch his limits each day and head back home, tired, exhausted, with his feathers ruffled, his body knotting with pain.

For him, speed was power, joy and pure beauty. He wanted to conquer it, and he did so from a thousand feet over the sea, where the terminal velocity would bring him instant death in the wake of a collision. But Jonathan was not one to be dissuaded from his goal.

All he did was practice and discover the secrets of aerodynamics. But so much defiance did not win him the appreciation of his flock. He was told that he had brought them shame by violating the dignity and tradition of the Gull Family, and was exiled, banished to lead a solitary life.

Notwithstanding, he soon discovers a new level of existence, and eventually becomes a teacher of what he learns, leading others who dared to an elevated existence. This book is an eye opener for all those of us who choose to hide behind our complexes in the obscurity of life, opting for the easier way out.

With a fiery, daring, fictitious character of a seagull, Bach reaches out to the sleeping conscience of all those who exchange the walk-on part in a war for a lead role in a cage.

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