When I started the first blog, I promised myself that I will keep it alive. Now, I know that for me to be able to continue a task, there should be something interesting in it. The interest, that good stories carry for me! A story connects me to a world that I know exists, but know not how to create! A good story can be 5 words, 50 words, 50 chapters, 500 chapters, 5 books, 5 movies! No, 5 is not my lucky number, nor am I obsessed with it. It just sprang at me, and I have used it.
When I decided to revive my writing, albeit in a new format, I was sure I had stories to tell. I still have them, but before I can tell you the stories I want to, I want to talk about stories that have spoken to me like real people; the ones that have shaped me, formed me, given me a way of thinking, a way of life. When I think of my favourite books, the ones that come to my mind (not in order of preference) are Little Women, Wuthering Heights, To kill a Mockingbird, the Harry Potter series, સમુદ્રાન્તિકે, અકૂપાર, માધવ ક્યાંય નથી, દરિયો એક તરસનો, 1793 (Victor Hugo), સળગતાં સૂરજમુખી. Each of these has given me a different perspective to what life can be!
Each of these, in its own way, has shaped my thought process, my values. When I was a teacher, I used to think that you can only learn from people whom you know, closely, clearly! The ones who match your value system. But, I have re-read the books I loved as a child, as an adult. And I know that my old friends, not only favour cotton and silk, but some of them favour paper and ink. I personally prefer fantasy, am most interested in the writing that is for chilren, for I know that it is the stories that we hear as children, which make us the people we are.
When I am seen with fantasy, or YA literature or children’s books, people are surprised. But I have never been able to give up on those books. Some children’s fiction, I started when I turned 28. Then I realised that it is not children’s literature at all. It is literature that emulates life, in all its glory, pain, lessons. And in that, it is literature of life. But we will talk about my obsession with a messy, dark haired boy with emerald green eyes and a lightning scar elsewhere.
The one book that I love, but normally does not come up in conversation, is The Little Prince – I am not sure why I love the French writers – though I must confess I HATE French cinema – but I find that they see life with astounding clarity. The way French writers force you to think, without forcing you to do so, is what makes their writing so attractive.
When I promised a second installment of the journey I made, I was thinking also of the journey as a person! And in my journey, along with my friends (yes, they come first – even in family those who’re designated as friends come first), there is a very powerful presence of my friends whom I have never met – and yet, whom I know as closely as myself, because they have opened their thoughts, beliefs, ideas, experiences, perspectives for me to read, understand, learn, share!
If I had to thank my parents for one thing they’ve done for me, that would be for cultivating the love of books in me (in us, for the rest of my family is in love with them too). They couldn’t really afford to buy books, but they made sure we knew how to use a library – possibly guiding our choices of books in the early years – I have a very bad memory and largely don’t remember anything from my childhood – but I do remember that we had a weekly trip to the library for at least 7 years between when I was 4 and when I turned 11.
Today, I probably own a little more than 1000 books (my brother owns almost as many) and despite the threats of not letting me buy more books, I see both my parents’ eyes light up when I add a new book to the collection, that matches their tastes (that’d be religious, and cinema related respectively). I see the same light in the eyes of my 7 year old niece when she’s (for the want of a better expression) let loose in a book store. If she could get away with it, she’d probably buy the whole store and ask for the next one.
The world that I have envisioned, the values that matter to me, all come from books. Despite having been told that you can’t live in books, I have found that if you live a book well, you can live a full life! 🙂
And so back to promises – promises are made to be broken, they say! I promised I will update this blog each week, each Sunday. Unfortunately, I forgot to take into account the possible power of a new set of books I recently bought. I have recently bought a set of six Cassandra Clare books (who I recently learnt was a fanfiction writer in not so far past) and have found them gripping. Sufficiently gripping to keep me occupied for two days, while I finished the first two parts of the Mortal Instruments series. Since, obviously, most waking time dedicated to the books, there was no time to write. And I am already on the third book, which is waiting for me, peeping out of its corner on the living room table, so here I go, leaving all of you waiting in the hope, that some day, this enticement will fail and I will go back to writing, as I promised, the more adventurous part of ThymTrip.
So, till I fight off the temptation, and get back to business, happy reading 🙂