Title : Bending Over Backwards
Author : Carlo Pizzati
Publisher : Harpercollins India
In this intrepid and humorous travelogue, Carlo Pizzati embarks on a quest to find a cure for a backache that has tortured him for twenty years. Armed with his notebook and an indomitable spirit of adventure, Carlo travels from a posturologist’s office in northern Italy to the rarefied mountain air of Boulder to seek a variety of New Age alternative cures; from a trance-dance venue hidden near the woods of Cinque Terre to an exorcist-shaman’s den near Buenos Aires, who photographs demons and auras. Eventually, Carlo fetches up in India, to live and learn from the yogis at the Ashtanga yoga centre in Mysore. In India, as Carlo engages in strenuous yogic discipline, meditates atop hills, he has an explosive insight into his past births which leads to an encounter that will change his life forever. Along the way, our sceptical, suffering but always curious narrator discovers the ways in which spirituality and technology intersect. Wry, witty and wise by turns, this is a book about self-discovery, facing fears and failures, and undertaking an arduous journey with an open mind and heart.
Bending Over Backwards By Carlo Pizzati is not just a memoir. It is also a travelogue. This was a bit new to me as I’ve only read travelogues that were only about five pages long. We all kinda deal with chronic illness of some kind of the other, I for example have cold allergy! The author here had been suffering from chronic back pain that just wouldn’t go away. This is the gift of working as a journalist bent over computers and typing away for numerous hours.
He travels the world, tries everything there is to cure it, and finally lands in India where he finally finds his footing.
He shares the story of his life with sharp recounts of his painful memories, and humorous anecdotes which materialises into this novel. I’m not a fan of nonfiction, but I liked this one because it felt surreal and quite plausible all at the same time.
What started as a journey to cure his back ache, the author discovers that he needed healing from a deeper wound that resided within him and that bending over backwards and letting oneself go is the only way to reform. He makes peace with death, realises the value of yoga and meditation and a connection.
We try our best to be the best versions of ourselves, which can only be achieved through hardwork and discipline, until lazyness creeps in and throws it all away. We do wish and try to get rid of this suffering, but how long can we keep our end of the bargain? I guess one can never tell.