The Thread of God (An Autobiography With a Difference)

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Item Code: NAG248
Author: R.M. Lala
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Language: English
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9780670082681
Pages: 224 (14 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 350 gm
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Fully insured
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Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business

I am not important, but what has happened to me, and what I have learnt from eighty years of living, may be.

For the benefit of the reader I have adopted an unconventional procedure. I have not been through my life from start to the present. Instead, each item stands on its own, leaving it to the reader to pick and choose what he or she wants to read. I move freely over subjects like ‘Early Years’, Searching for God’, ‘Learning Values’, ‘Encounters and what I Gained from Them,’ ‘Expousers ‘, Experiences and ‘Meditations.’

My life spans journalism, book publishing, Philanthropy and authorship. When my friend and colleague, Rajmohan Gandhi, proposed I write the story of my life, I wondered why, and what there was in my life to justify doing so. Strangely enough, quite independently, two others suggested the same thing. To one of them I replied, “The only thing worthy of being told is that there has been a thread of God in my life.’

Soon after I came across the prayer quoted at the opening of the book, where Mustafa the tailor says, ‘O God you are the needle and I am the thread…’ It is the journey of this thread that may be of some relevance. Through incidents, encounters with people, through whispers, through books, and only occasionally through a firm bidding, does God waeve the pattern of our life.

The outstanding strands of my life have been faith and a purpose. A man needs both-a faith, an anchor to hold on twenty-five has been my anchor. The compass that has directed mu purpose has been the discipline of a quiet time and trying to live by moral standards in spite of all my frailties. First you hold on to a faith with all sincerity. Then it is the faith that holds you as you journey through life. This leading or guidance can steer us through many situations and even overrule or rectify errors we regret. It can also show a way out of a confused situation.

While calling this book The Thread of God in My Life, I am conscious that fanatics today, and throughout history, have brought disrepute to the name of God. Furthermore, many who have spoken in his name have kept people way from Him by the way they have conducted themselves. God be praised that even after centuries of folly Pope John Paul II had the courage to apologize in Jerusalem for the Crusades. It was a healing of the past.

I rejoice that at least in India the majority of people of every faith-or even of no faith-believe in a divine power beyond themselves. So long as there is love in their hearts, and no hatred of any section of the people, the faith in Him as divine power will remain. It is a privilege that the whisper in the hearts of men and women: ‘This is the right way. Take it.’

As a former atheist, I can understand that to some He may not be real but to me He is. He has loved cared for and directed me. My only obligation was to obey Him.

The secret of life I have found most useful was to have a time of quiet each day-preferably on waking up or, failing this, just before bedtime-when he mind is uncluttered by other impressions. Inspirational reading has helped me and enriched each quiet time. Observation nature also inspires and triggers off thoughts.

The reader will find that the chapter entitled ‘Meeting the challenges of Cancer’ is expectionally long Of my time books, no book has given readers greater help and the author greater satisfaction than the celebration of the cells-Letters from a cancer Surviour. I have distilled the essence of this book in a single chapter of the present work.

I have spoken at meetings both on aspects of faith and of purpose. It is touching how people come up and ask you: ‘How do I find a purpose?’ A lady in Pune posed the latter question to me with such poignancy, I cannot still forget it. I hope this book may be of some help to her and others like her.

We try to bury deep down the question that bother us most but we seldom succeed. The greatest discovery is the discovery of one’s own self. To rediscover oneself. Today people have less and less time to give to uninterrupted reading or thought. Incessant bombardment from TV, the pressing pace of e-mails, and long hours of work and commuting have taken away ago. This accelerated pace of life has burnt out or dried up some, and left many a person confused about the meaning of life. Whenever I have the inner voice has led me, I have found that people have listened intently because they could relate to them. It is my prayer that this book be of some value to such readers.

The Thread of God has seen me through two serious illnesess; healed a broken marriage; lifted me from financial stringency to financial security; and accompanied me in four careers over two continents. In the course of life I have learnt about the importance of acceptance of what I cannot change; the danger of demands in my life; and above all the joy of resting in, and practicing, the presence of God in my life. The personalities I have studied or encountered, many for my book A Touch of Greatness-Encounters with the Eminent, have affected and ennobled my life.

‘If we are going to move from mere admiration of great men to try to live like them, we are obeying one of the happiest impulses of our being,; wrote Henry Drummond, One reader of my Life of J.R.D. Tara wrote, ‘Had I read this book fifteen years earlier my own life would have been different.’

The faith I have found I yearn to pass on to others. After my radiation treatment in 2003 I realized that nothing was more important than bringing people closer to God. I find that every act of kindness brings people closer to God. ‘Every act of love is a prayer,; says Mother Teresa. With the beauty of life come its challenges- the hurts, the hates, the sorrows. Most of these, if not all, if faced with faith and courage can add to the sum total of our being. At times of travail I have to remember:

‘His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour
The bud may have a bitter taste
But sweet will be the flower.’2

This book is not meant to be read at a stretch. The reader may like to pause and relate some aspects to his/her own life. If this book can give faith and point to a path that enables others to find a deeper meaning to life, I shall feel amply rewarded.


About the Book

R.M. Lala’s impressive career spans journalism, publishing, philanthropy and writing books, including the best–selling biography Beyond the Last Blue Mountain: A Life of J.R.D. Tata. Lala’s direct and almost conversational style gives a vivid portarait of the times he has lived through, allowing the reader a glimpse into his intensely personal memories, his experiences, as well as his encounters with the personalities who shaped twentieth-century India-from J.R.D. Tata to Mother Terasa; from Vinoba Bhave to Morarji Desai.

The book is informed throughout by the author’s deep and enduring faith in God,a strength of belief which has supported him through two serious illnesses, healed a broken marriage, taken him from financial adversity to financial security and guided him through four careers over two continents. This moving autobiography illuminates R.M. Lala’s essential philosophy- the acceptance of what cannot be changed; a positive effort to live by certain standards; and, above all, the joy of living in the presence of God.




Acknowledgements xiii
Foreword by Fali S. Nariman xv
Preface xxv
Part I: Experiences  
The Early Years 3
Years Of College 17
Journalism, Publishing and The UK 28
Return To India 39
The Creative Years-Book Writing 77
Philnathropy 86
Challenges to Health 99
Blessings 117
Part II: Learning Values  
What I Believe 125
Finding A Faith 128
Exposures 147
Learning Values 166
Entering The Eighties 185
Notes 192

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