Monday, 22 July 2013

"A friend that turns its back on the shelf, and still remains a friend"

The answer to the riddle above: Books!

Books were my first love ever. I don’t think I ever liked anything as much as devouring a good book. I read all sorts , but I enjoyed fiction the most. Depending on my age and stage of life, different genres have enthralled me and mesmerized me. I remember I asked my parents to get me a membership to the British Library in my little hometown, given that I was extremely shy and never demanded anything form them. That was the kindling of a relationship that has outlasted every other relationship in my life. Books were my best friends, my mentors, my philosopher and my guide, literally! I could always count on a book to drive away my boredom. I learnt the ways of the world (whatever little I know) through them. Books taught me to dream, to reach out to places in the world which wouldn't have been possible in the otherwise sleepy town that I grew up in. Books inspired me, to step out of the cocoon life that I was brought up in. Books dared me to work harder and aspire higher. Books entertained me, with the rich creative imagination from the minds of the authors.

I carried a big carton of books with me to every part of the world I lived in, sometimes books weighing more than all the other belongings put together. I loved buying books, reading them and displaying them, with pride in my heart that I have seen the world through the eyes of many different people.

My last move across continents (North America to Asia) was time for a reality check, once again. I couldn't be carrying my ever-expanding heaps of books with me everywhere. With a reluctant heart, I bought a Kindle – just to try it out. Of course an electronic device would be no match for the scent of fresh print and the joy of turning pages. As expected, it wasn't. But the one thing I had to admit was that it was practical. Immensely practical and easier and lighter and cheaper. So my love has evolved, from books to eBooks. I still horde books, but only the ones in the e-format. I have taught myself to love the efficiency of spotting a book on the websites, and begin the all too familiar journey of opening Chapter 1 within seconds. It works, and am reading even more now. Still reading, like a wide-eyed school-girl, trying to understand the matrix of the world by resting on the shoulders of the wise and the intellectual, who understand things a wee bit better than I do.

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