Sunday, 23 February 2014

Why I read

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The one who never reads lives only one.”

Books have always had a magnetic effect on me. I am pulled towards them like a new day tugs at the sun and the moon pulls away at the waters of the ocean. Inevitable! They coo their soft stories into the winds and catch my breath when I pass by them.  And so I have to stop by. The pages keep flowing and Time keeps passing us by!

When I hold a book in my hands, I can’t help but wonder at this marvel. This relic of Time. Books hold the mind of the author(s) for eternity. They are a fruit of intellect. A gift from the writer to mankind. When I think about this, I wonder, if ever it would have been possible to push us to even shift our thinking caps a bit if people burning with a discovery since the olden times would not have written it down in a Book. Before there was internet and everybody could look up anything, there were Books that held the reins of Human Thought and propelled us forward on the dusty roads of exploration and discovery. Books have remained the tool of gathering up information and stories and reaching out to the readers. In the past, there were small booklets which were distributed among the masses to inform about religion and moral thought and to keep alive cultures and traditions. 

But Books have also blazed a discovery and set us on new roads. For instance, 150 years after it was published, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Origin still remains controversial. The book is still live and relevant. Some politicians and religious leaders denounce it even today and would invoke a higher being as a designer to explain the complex world of living things. However, mainstream scientists see no controversy. Evolution is well supported by many examples of changes in various species leading to the diversity of life seen today. Also Shakespeare. He is such a timeless poet. The depth of emotion and the fine portrayal of human psychology in his sonnets and plays have etched an everlasting impression on our collective minds. He is our go-to whenever we want to eloquently express a mundane thought.

There are thousands and thousands of writers and thinkers in the present and past and forever who have written about Art, Culture, Society, Philosophy, Anthropology, Medicine, Finance, Astronomy, Geoscience, Physics, etc and have propelled human growth through discovery. And many timeless authors and poets like Aristotle, Premchand, Francis Bacon, George Eliot,  Mark Twain, Dharmveer Bharti, Virginia Woolf,  E.E. Cummings, Earnest Hemingway, Sylva Plath, Maya Angelou,  Anita Desai, etc., there are so many who have let us a peek into their being and into human emotion through their writing. Indeed when I sit with a book, I sit in conversation with some the most intelligent minds ever, in the comfort of my own room and hearth. It’s a homage to them, to Beauty, to words and to Books.
The day has pockets —One can always find one, go deep and drown in a Book. I love Books and reading is an interaction that I will carry on till Time permits!

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