A cup a cha – A review of ‘Three Cups of Tea’

I have recently read Greg Mortenson’s ‘Three cups of tea’ and was religiously moved and overwhelmingly amazed to read this book whereby an American mountaineer could teach us so much about the mountains of Pakistan in general and life in particular; just in 349 pages that it is almost a shame that I could not learn in 45 years of my worthless existence.

Greg has woven his pearls of wisdom with such simplistic beauty that my worry beads almost flare up with hymns of earth, wind and fire. I must hasten to add that he throws in the snow covered mountains at a steady pace every now and then in his free flowing thought process that awakens the mountaineer in me. If mountains could read; I am sure the 62 kilometer Baltoro glacier would have melted and flown like molten lava from the highlands of Skardu to the lowlands of Karachi after reading this gospel and would have unleashed a flood in the Indus River.

The governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan have both failed their nations so miserably by not addressing the educational needs of their mountainous regions while this book almost serves as a Gospel of Barnabas which was excluded in the 1411 King James version of the Bible and almost qualifies enough to be included back in the Bible as the 6th book of the Old testament (if I may) right after Deuteronomy.

Greg has thrown in every molecule of his life wholeheartedly in making schools for the Balti people which started from one school in Korphe to 55 and rising. Incidentally, the Korphe village was without a school for some odd six hundred years and a Messiah in the garb of Greg had to descend to start building the first one there. Shame on us!

Hushe School during construction

Image courtesy Greg Mortenson, Central Asia Institute

This book in a nutshell teaches us to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. In the holy Quran, there is no law to prohibit an infidel from providing assistance to our Muslim brothers and sisters. One thing is for sure that this infidel called Greg Mortenson is undoubtedly a modern day prophet and is going to heaven whether I as a believer am going there or not.

Greg, I as a Pakistani am shamefully indebted to your Sadqa-e-Jaria (Never ending Alms). May you live long, Amen!

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