…..because life sucks when am NOT reading. Why can’t life be about reading, sleeping and occasionally eating?
Life, the sucker, has to happen exactly when I have a good book in hand, Exactly while the story is creating a world filled with moving images, characters, era, location, emotions and transporting me to a time where I cannot possibly ever reach without the words in the book.
When I remember the quotes from the book, or can almost smell the rain, barish, soil my feet walking down the muddy path, feel the sadness of the daughter waiting for her father, the pain of losing a dear friend, the happiness of finding love, the redemption,the world of witches and wizards and flying dinosaurs
At least life doesn’t suck when it is within words.
And so I do all that life expects from me, cooking, packing lunch, office -home, But I hate the author for engaging my mind.
The result? I read whenever I can.
On the toilet seat; when the pot is whistling on the stove; when am walking eight stairs down at the office; when am at the elevator; on the dinning.
THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS, is the first novel in my memory by an Indian author to won BOOKER PRIZE(1997). I remember when I heard this news, I was very proud. I didn’t forget the name ever Arundhati Roy and the title. But I wasn’t a collector then. I couldn’t afford to buy it. It was too expensive for someone who just started reading novels outside academic. I was very sure, one day I will read it.
20 years later ( See, why I complain about life?), it took me 20 years to buy this book.
I was at the mall last weekend, waiting for father-son to join me when I wandered into a Bookstore and found this. 20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
And of course, I bought it. Without thinking that probably it will be cheaper to order online. Am on page 43 and I know why this is a winner Book. I have already been to Kerala(where the story is set) and back several times. Am a Christian now. The book is a poetic novel.
“Things can change in a day.”
“Chacko was Mammachi’s only son. Her own grief grieved her. His devasted her.”
Good authors are like pied-piper of Hamelin. The readers will merrily follow them into the world that really doesn’t exist; to doom or rejoice. The beauty of this world is that there is only one story and as many dimensions as there are readers. Each reader follow the pied-piper but see, feel, smell and sign in his world! For me, some days the story comes alive at the night in the softness of light from the table-lamp, after the father-son have gone to sleep. This is the time when the world outside my window is still and dark. But the words in the book are thumping for my attention to be read more. I stop reading and soak in the story. Estha and Rahel (Twins from God of Small Things) forms a bond that I wish to share with my unreal twin brother 🙂
Then there are non-readers like my husband, who never failed to ask me when he sees me with a book in hand.
” Am gonna ask you a question from that book now! Ready for the exam?” ” Does it have pictures?! What no photo..must be a very bore book” “Abhi tak pass nahi hui, kitna padege?”
I hate reading because I miss it so much when am not!
If only I had a job that gives me money while I spend time reading a novel from my favorite genre.
I have analyzed this life situation very carefully, There is perhaps a parallel universe where I can read all I want, but it doesn’t sound like a good ending.
Somewhere Am a librarian but it is too silent for a Libran social butterfly like me.
Or working at a bookstore- that will be then even more pathetic, surrounded by this sea of novels of all genre by all authors great, small, big and all I can do is arrange shelf, help the kid find coloring book! I wouldn’t survive a day.
Or working at a publisher – Naah, I wanna read a book that I like, not the one I publish. Not anyone bossing me to read this when I wanna read that.
So in this universe, I have settled for reading on the toilet seat.
I do have the plan to open my own Reading Cafe one day. Walls filled with books. From all genre. By all authors. A chalkboard-painted wall to write your favorite quote, to paint the world from novel just finished. The cafe will have all sort of sitting arrangement, from hammock to bean-bag, to give you a cocoon to just read and drink coffee. Where one could come out and quote favorite line or read fav passage and not feel out of life.
I will serve coffee and wait for monsoons. Authors will be the celebrity. Air will be filled with quotes from books and stories will come alive. There will be talks, discussions and book club meetings. Each will have own world to immerse in from any genre or be at any place the author takes them to.
One room definitely will be for people reading the last leg of the novel. DO NOT DISTURB ME when I need to know the end.
Life finally will stop sucking.