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Monday, April 8, 2013

 4th march 2013

Ever since the childhood, i have been an avid reader. My father had a love for books. And he made sure that I had the best of books.

As I grew up, I borrowed from his collection. And I was a voracious reader. I would not put down a book till I completed reading it. I needed something to read even as i had my lunch or dinner.

Reading was my hobby . My only major interest. I read anything from a comic, a Mills and Boon, a detective story , a classic, plays, magazines, and when I couldn't find anything to read, i have even picked up the Wren and Martin and their essay or letter section to give me company over lunch.

There is an incident I remember vry vividly. It was the last day of our TYBA examination. A classmate who was also a dear friend was to get married that vacation. At the age of 20. She wasnt very happy about it, but she really did not have a say. Friends consoled her... and told her something which has stayed wth me ever since, "Never stop reading" they told her. "Read anything u can lay your hands on. Read a magazine, read the newspaper, read every inch of it. U will be finished if u stop reading." "Once you stop reading , you will never able to" they told her. i thought it was a funny piece of advice, how could anybody not read !! Not want to read !!!

Over the years, my reading habits have undergone a change too. For a long time I used to be scared to pick up a book , because I knew I would ignore my "grihini Kartavya" once i started on one. The house would be in a mess, the meals wouldn't be ready on time.... It has happened.

Somewhere along, I got busy with the family and responsibilities and i bid goodbye to books. Until Harry Potter happened. That series got me hooked. I was glad I was reading again.

And then it started ...... I could not concentrate while reaqding. I would read a paragraph or a page or a pages . I would find myself only reading the words. If I kept the book aside and came back to it later , i owuld not remember what i had read before and when i reread it, it seemd like i hadnt read it before. There was no grasping.

so i started concentrating a little harder. Read a few lines, keep the book away and try to recollect , process and analyse it. The mind had lost its conditioning. I was trying to re-train it.

Things gradually became worse. Because of limited social interaction, I found my vocabulary limited. The word would be stuck somewhere at the back of the mind and try as i would i would not be able to bring it back. I found myself at a loss of words literally. I woud find it hard to express what i felt.

And when I would attempt to read, I would sometimes be so amazed by the simplicity of expressions,. "This is exactly how i feel" "These are my thoughts too, but I wouldnt be able to think up these words, and yet they are so simple" That brought a fear for reading. The inferiority complex would set in.

I would get so carried away by the beauty of the words, that I would linger there. And then stop there. Sometimes at the first paragraph . The book would then remain unread.

This keeps happening from time to time. Of late , i have begun to fear this fear. There is a pile of books which i have bought which i know i would like to read, but haven't garnered enough strength to tackle them.

I tried reading a light ficiton. A chick lit actually. i managed to complete it. the Secret Wishlist. I had a wishlist of my own so i thought i would check out this book. The protagonist had a wishlist ranging from learning to dance to sleeping with another man who wasnt her husband. Ahem ! yes, i read it. I was not happy reading it, because it is not the kind of reading i prefer these days. But the book was easy to read. And it put me on a guilt trip. If I can read this, why can't i read the others. How could i complete reading this one, when the issues dealt here are ones that i don't identify with. and no, I wasn't being a prude ! was it the simplicity of words? or was it because i really didnt care abt the protagonist and had kept myself uninvolved and managed to complete reading at the least ?

i picked up a book from my pile once again. i start reading. I have told myself that there is no hurry to complete this one. But I am going to discipline myself. Read , ponder and read. I am condtioning myself to reach out for the book. I am conditioning the mind to block out other thoughts. I am conditioning the mind to be a part of the book. I am conditioning the mind not to be intimidated.

And as i write this some lyrics of the BOYZONE/ BeeGees song keep playing in the head..... "It's only words and words are all I have , To take your heart away !'

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