Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Hard-bound World...

Ever wondered why with such an expanse of land waiting to be tread and felt, we choose the shelter of two hard-bound covers occupying a few square-inch of the earth? No.. it has nothing to do with laziness! Hamlet once said " I can bound in a nutshell and still consider myself the king of the Universe". Do we consider ourselves the I-know-all in the limits of a page?
Any regular reader would differ out-rightly to the thought, an so do I.
As an Indian I was well-versed with my nations struggle for Independence and it's struggle for interdependence post-Independence. Yet, it was not my history book that connected me to struggles beyond those defined by those permeable borders. We all read about communism in history alongwith the political history of different nations. Honestly, I hardly know anyone who cares much after reading the chronologicaly narrated synopsis of an event. When I came across European writers like Turgnev, Dostoevesky and Kundera, however, my definitions and chronology changed. Somehow I did care what they went through n the side of the world.
The novels may be fiction stories, but instead of focussing on changes in the imaginary border-lines, they concentrate on how human lives and emotions were affected and developed through events. It is knowing that human-side that makes you care about an event in history and not how the presidents name changed from one after another.
Just a few pages thick and I get to familiarise myself with the psyche of new people and the development of places hitherto unfamiliar. Even if visited personallly, I doubt if a location can be appreciated any better than by taking a peek into its past time-zones & wondering what all it has witnessed just by being there.
Thats enough in favour of the Word, but incase you wish to evade the tag of a 'lazy reader"... just walk & read !

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