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“Oh! You love to read?!” his facial muscles twitched in an odd spasm that could have been a smile and was more of a grimace. “That’s really cool. I am not that much of a reader. I read factual non-fiction stuff.” There was no mistaking the expression now. It was a smug expression of barely controlled self-impressed admission of excellence. And I would probably have been ok with it had the look bestowed on me had not been that of sympathetic acceptance of my childish fanciful taste in literature, my obsession with a child’s pass time “stories”. And I have had this conversation several times, especially with men who I have often times met and gazed at with stupefied wonder precisely for this reason. There have been others who outright proclaimed with dense pride “oh I HATE reading!” and expecting a medal for this great revelation, but those people don’t tread my path much after such declarations at all, hence I shall avoid any mention of that clan here on. But I do write this, because the previous conversation has always left me with too much indignation to not be able to spell out exactly what I feel about most people’s idea of looking down upon story telling. Here is a small attempt to explain why it works for me…

Stories are an immortal account of a person’s life, in his/her immediate society, head space, experiences, ideologies all active and passive agents of that person’s upbringing. It is your never exhausting ticket to the world of the past or the future of any place in this galaxy; it breaks the fetters of space and time. Stories are the most human link between the reader and the writer. We have known at least a fragment of what that other person has lived and experienced and what else brings us closer to one another?! But most of all I have found my best and closest friends in old yellowing pages; with all due respect to non-fiction readers, I must say that I found more humane connect in Harry Potter’s first flight on his Nimbus 2000 and the exhilarated other worldly joy he felt at finding a faint thread of a connect to his late father he barely remembered than I do to Sputnik’s launch into space. It is the thrill of seeing something that’s not of or from a human but all human itself. My life lesson, hopes, dreams and aspirations, my sign posts and closest friends and people I met in books long before I saw such personality types in flesh are a huge part of my “real” life and hence a story is the most natural form in which human societies have immortalised their annals. My world is consisted of my mom, dad, Revati, Fazzy and Mannu and equally of Dagny Taggart, Fransisco D’Anconia, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Atticus Finch, Hamlet, Ophelia, Gally Treepwood and so very many others. But above all it is the romance in reading that thrills me to the core. That someone should pour their heart and soul on papers, that the paper should be drenched in ink that spills some of the greatest realizations, triumphs, lessons, feelings and secrets and that I should hold it in my palms with gentle care, rest the book in my lap or to let it lay on my chest as I think of what I read, as I lose myself in a world someone else spun…. Isn’t it the finest form of romance? From one soul to another, yours to hold and learn from and own…. I don’t escape in a book I find myself in it and what more does one need than their own favourite multiple places to go to and find themselves and their friends in long lost tales, old places, ancient wind and a fresh new thought….


Before I lose myself in the enchanted pull of my ‘other’ world let me just say this as a final summation and plea who see and most who don’t an appeal of a well spun tale; no quality is more attractive than wickedly positive intelligence, no liquid has the potency of ink, no matter can compete the speed of mind and nothing ever beats imagination. And intelligence, ink, mind and imagination spin stories.... The ones that we breathe, eat and sing and dance and ones that separate us from all and make us one with all.... Stories.... The most beautiful creation of anytime is stories......

#books #reading #fiction #classics #literature

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