I remember, riding my rusty Ladybird bicycle, rushing to Senthil library in my locality to borrow Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on a humid Sunday afternoon. That was my first bout of reading that got me hooked to the best book series ever. Till date.
Tonight, as I contemplate whether to re-watch Modern Family or just snooze off after a tiring day at work, I can only dream of staying awake to read a 500+ pages novel. With the onset of Kindle and social media, we derive our ‘stories’ from feeds than a dog-eared book passed on for ages.
Between writing fan fiction in the very last pages of our school notebooks to listening to podcasts of our authors, we grew up. I always dreamt of having a cosy library corner to myself when I grew up. Now that adulthood is staring at my face, I cannot push myself to budge and turn the pages of a book. Enveloping myself with my laptop and the imaginary interface suffices almost everyday. Where did we lose that urge to pull all-nighters to finish a book? Where did we bury that craving to read more and talk about what the author could have meant? Vivid in my memory are the dissections of contemporary poems with Jyotsna Ma’am in class eleven. Poetry another forte, also faltered. I can hardly put two words together to talk to sapiens. Forget writing interconnected sentences.
Can technology really be blamed for our shortcomings? Can we take a conscious effort to read again and get back to the wonderful world of words dancing promiscuously? Can we find our fingers, instead of flirting with the keyboard, ensconced between the pages of yore? I somehow connect the happenings around us to the lack of reading in daily life. When we read fiction, we traverse boundaries and become one. There is only one journey the author takes us to. And in that moment, we are all one.
If only, we opened our eyes to literature.