Three Cups of Tea By Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin

Three Cups of Tea is one of the most interesting books based on one man’s triumph over his personal tribulations as he wants to change the world.  This is an incredible narration of a man, who wanted to help humanity by transcending the boundaries of race, religion, language and creed.

The book contains 368 pages and was published in 2006 by Viking Penguin USA and is a fascinating narrative of one man’s invincible will power. This book reveals the tale of a man who being ahead of time, realized the impending clash of cultures and tried to look for its solution. Focusing on the life of a man who realized that his true calling was in the mountains of Northern Pakistan, this exciting book fully captures the reader’s attention.

Born to Lutheran missionary parents, Mortenson grew up with his siblings enjoying the outdoor life in Tanzania. His missionary parents imparted a sense of responsibility in him, towards those in need since childhood. Mortenson despite serving in the army as a medic was a mountaineer by calling rather by profession. The author had almost a parental relationship with his younger sister Krista who since her childhood was afflicted by epilepsy caused by meningitis. The untimely death of Krista at the age of twenty three had a lasting impact on the author. Consequently Mortenson was determined to climb the toughest mountain peak and place her necklace on its summit in order to honor the departed soul. Overwhelmed by his ambition, the author came to Pakistan, a land unknown to him so that his desire might create hope and happiness for countless people.

The author’s attempt to climb K2 eventually ended in failure and disappointment thus the reader can feel his pain and despondency.  The scribe resultantly got lost and ended up in a little mountain village overwhelmed by physical injury, emotional stress and bewilderment. Mortenson was then looked after and nursed back to heath by the locals during his stay in the village. At this juncture he comes across Haji Ali who despite being an illiterate village elder later turns out to be one of the leading characters in the story.

Haji Ali then becomes a source of inspiration, wisdom and guidance for Mortenson, introducing him to the delicate sphere of local customs and sensibilities. Mortenson as a result of metamorphosis realizes that the locals who helped him are themselves in a dire need of help, being inhabitants of a bleak and forbidding landscape.  At that point in time, Mortenson realized his true calling was to help humanity which indeed was a perfect way of honoring her beloved sister forever. Resultantly the author then develops a deep understanding of the local community and their culture and identifies illiteracy as one of the key problems of the area. This realization then results in the creation of the first school in small mountain village of  Korphe.  The author in his epic struggle to build a school, is introduced to the environs of Pakistani bureaucracy. The reader sees Mortenson dealing with Pakistani bureaucracy on one hand ,while on the other hand he collects donations in the U.S.

Mortenson on account of his sheer will, steadfastness and genuine concern for the locals manages to engender a change by lighting up dim hills and minds.  Concurrently his personal life progresses as he meets his future wife, and eventually the couple supports each other in fulfilling their dream. Mortenson at one point in time experiences a life threatening situation which he manages to escape. The author is eventually successful in setting up over seventy schools in some of the remotest mountain areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Mortenson after fighting every hindrance, experiences success as he sets up many schools ultimately securing the future of countless people and therefore honoring his sister forever.

Mortenson in his book has revealed the real purpose of his life which was to spread love for humanity which is extraneous of region, belief and culture.  Treating each other with forbearance and respecting cultural differences is what leads to a perfect human experience on earth.



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