Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pleasures of Reading- “Sitting in Bombay, Experiencing London…”

You are in London. A young lady in black sunglasses bumps into you while you walk past the crowd at Lymington road, feeling the autumn chill in the air. The clouds part, and a great golden shower of sunlight pours onto the road. The young lady, who, you think is so improbably beautiful smiles apologetically and walks past. You smile back at the book and put a bookmark on that page, making a mental note that you’ll get back to it as soon as you finish dinner.

Novels, they transport us to another world, maybe another country, another city, another family, another background, another ethnicity, another religion, another personality. And soon enough we realize that we are seeing the world through another person’s eyes. Who is this other person?... Is it us? Or a transformed version of us? Well, that’s what it feels like..That person indeed becomes a part of us, so close that often it is difficult to say if he is us, or we are him. He is the character, the protagonist, in most cases, who has sunk into our subconsious and has become our companion, or an escort, to take us around his world, his life… his story. He takes through his story as we watch it like a movie in our mind, or, if it’s an extraordinarily great piece of writing, experience it vicariously, as if it were happening to us.

You get back to the book. It is an uptown restaurant in London. A few pages later, the culture of London has become like your own. Novels, they also inform a great deal about different societies, their cultures, their way of living. They do not directly inform, they reveal, in bits and pieces. The information just flows through beautifully with the rest of the novel like the mineral-rich sediments in a river. After a voyage of discovery and revelation when we get at the end of it, we realize that it’s become a part of us.

You put the book down and get back to your work. What a nice unwinding, refreshing break you’ve just had from your stressful unvarying routine of everyday life. Novels indeed provide an escapism from the humdrum necessities of reality. For many of us, they may create a world we want to live in; for many, they may show us the world we want to live in and make us feel far away from it, or they may just be an entertainment for some. But I believe they much more than just that. They are like a ship that takes us to distant lands, often it may get hijacked by pirates but that just adds to our vicarious adventures. They are like that most interesting friend of yours, whose stories you’re never tired of listening; only that they come to an end.
As Paul Sweeney once rightly asserted, “ You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little  as if you’ve lost a friend”.

1 comment :

  1. is a post I wrote with a stack of books as inspiration, haha, not wrote, more like just put up pictures :P
    I agree to what you wrote right here.
    Books are amazing. As an escape, view to another world..
    And the last sentence is so true <3
    Keep updating more frequently okay? :D