7/07/2006

Why books, why why?

So after a long slumber, I am back to my elements and feel like scribbling.

And meanwhile I have been reading, in the office, at home, on the bus, in the night, well during the entire day so I asked why why books?

LA VIE ET LE LIVRE (LIFE AND THE BOOK)

Books are quirky creatures, so do they make of the people who get in contact with them. Books exist on this earth in various facades - small, large, paper-back, local, on-the-footpath, pirated or whatever. Sometimes they are ostentatiously challenging you in a book fair or sometimes, well, I feel sorry for this, lying like a hapless orphan in your attic or even in your “almirah” (cupboard). For me reading a book is like the essential chemistry experiment. You look out for that pungent smell, that crimson-red coloured vapours or the yellow viscous residue. But sometimes the experiments fail but the objective is never left unfulfilled.

On reading
Reading books is like having an emotional as well an intellectual orgy, it is a symbol of an indulgence or rather over-indulgence in which time and space lose their meaning. Eyes are perched in the middle of the book and I miss the last “Virar-fast” in order have a feeling of satiation, that glow, that lump in my throat that tells me that the journey in the pages is over and it is now time to go home. My two or rather four eyes, for I am bespectacled, are jumping hither thither, abruptly stopping and abruptly moving, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. Then I realise that my daily travel to my office is a bumpy ride and hence by reading I am putting my eyes to great peril. Reading on the bench staring down, reading on your bed (in the morning I have a craning neck), in the light-less moments using that darned mobile to some productive use (Oh I realised it emits bright enough light), never giving that candle a short shrift. Of course I realise that flipping the pages is like de-flowering the book. It gets creased; the pages marked for future reference and yes the distinctive epithet appears on the first page. I wonder of what good is a book that is still a bachelor, wait a spinster suits better.

On buying, owning, discovering and suchlike
I have always had a penchant for genuine books so I would rather empty my pocket than rather owning that spurious copy which is not loyal to its author even in the way it smells. Hey it is a question of loyalty and I do not want to be an infidel. It often appears to me like a twist in the tale but I have never believed in libraries. For me they are just beacons, vanguards, like an indirect reference which/who lead me towards an unearthed treasure, a treasure which I initially see over and then win over. Enchanted or rather helpless is what I become when I am under an attack in a book shop. I stumble, I totter, I glow, I discover, I feel sorry, for what I intone? Well you know that right. Oh the moments of guilt and remorse never ever trouble me when I am under such a siege. Months later I retroactively take an oath that I shall not buy to what ends I wonder? Apparently it is human to realise that the gap, between what I have read and what I have to read, is burgeoning. After all even if you lose war you still have won the battle and that ecstasy is self-sustaining.

On types
Unlike humans, books are creatures having a singular quality. Like humans, they evoke a marquee of emotions on contact. First impressions might not be last impression. Sometimes they are just so awful you just want to behead them. Sometimes they are the silent warriors with a motto – they come, they see and they conquer. Contrariwise they become my lovers, the affair starts from the first page, and to my grief it ends suddenly. Then I realised why not fall in love over and over again. And there are the “other” types, which are essentially like wine or that “20 year” aged scotch. I do not wish to continue for the inebriation, which appears like consequence, is in plain words, ineffable.


On life and death
I fervently believe that books never die for they are the “epitome” of immortality. They are just carried over from generation to generation, god willing. They are nomads and the journey insulates them from the monotony of immortality. They pass from one hand to the other, from one attic to other, from one library to the other library or just plainly from one “kabadi” to the other. Given the bounty of books, I hope no one kills them, nor does anyone find them being shredded page by page. Ah! What cruelty? If anyone has such an experience, do inform me I am ready to set up a book-adoption society.

So much so for “Le livre” that I am convinced beyond reasoning, beyond the rational that
“Je suis, parceque je lis” (I am, because I read), period.

3 comments:

MountCleverest said...

dil khush kar ditta paape!
ennoda manasu santhoshamakita!!!
superbly written mate!!!
just too good...

main to tera fan ho gaya re ;)
adding a link to this from my blog...

keep up the good work man....

R.Shriram said...

@mount...
Thanks a lot mate

Max Babi said...

hi ninru kolladi, I am glad I came here! You have sprung a masterpiece of cute observations on us unsuspecting bookworms...in fact my next blogpiece was definitely going to be about books, and you have made me feel shortchanged by expressing my thoughts here...not fair! Very well written, one feels that this is but an appetizer -more posts are hidden under the copious derriere? Produce them like thunderous farts, dear fella.
Very enjoyable piece, this.
cheerz!