Festival for the Soul

Over the past year, there has been a surge in both literary festivals and eager book enthusiasts attending them. I don’t blame them. In a time where books stores are perilously on the verge of extinction and one seldom comes across people who take unrestrained joy in the humble art of reading, it is quite justified for the endangered lot to try and seek others of their kind.

Book lovers have always taken immense pride in their love for literature. And it cannot be denied that they don’t miss any opportunity for preaching it. After all, it is a morally and emotionally uplifting experience, to live someone else’s life through pages.
I have myself not have had the honor of attending a Lit fest till now. But my imagination has teleported me to one plenty of times. My eyes twinkle and my heart leaps at the thought of seeing Markus Zusak or Stephen Chbosky.
Or the more coveted spirits of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Tolkien for that matter.

The mere thought of standing under the same roof with the person who gave you a story to live is enough to make me seethe. People who gave us timeless heroes to count on. And in whose fictional company, we never felt alone.

I have to mention that once in 2013 I had the great privilege of meeting Ruskin Bond. Probably one of the greatest short story writers alive in our times. The funny thing is, I always envisaged and framed all the various questions I’d ask him (if I ever met him) but upon seeing him, it all blacked out. All my brain could calibrate was the fact that I was sitting next to a man who gave us a childhood. And it was a while when I realised I had to breathe.

Despite the giddy feeling of being in the presence of an author there are plenty other things that make a lit fest stand out. The most adored being in the presence of other bookworms. The ‘endangered specie’ I mentioned above. People who wallow in literature as much as you do.
People who appreciate words over a tv screen. Who, like you, have also resorted to reading to find an escape from the vast, recluse and solitary world of social media. They’re not found in pubs or malls, neither will they be found on the streets dominated by a society of burgeoning extroverts.
They will be found amassed at places like a lit fest. Thus it gives us the pleasure of being in cherished propinquity with others of our kind. We share, discuss, laugh and most of all are relieved that we’re not alone.

New books are discovered, new ideas unearthed and new perspectives are brought to light. Something these ostensible online bookstores cannot provide you. There’s only so much options an online portal can give, for there’s always a hurry of putting things in your ‘cart.’

Unlike a regular festival that caters to your need of worldly pleasures, a Literary Festival is a festival for your mind and soul. It nurtures your need for bookish pleasure and welcomes your enthusiasm for words.
Not everyone can enjoy that place. Only the voracious readers will feel at home. Only they will feel among family.

In a world where almost everything is either transformed or elevated to a trend, literature still remains a most raw and un-tarnished form of pleasure.
It’s not like it wasn’t tried and tested by the growing likes of pretentious freaks. But they couldn’t succeed in glamourising it.

Thank God literature requires brains to understand it.

It is both a relief and felicity to know that in a world outrageously dominated by hashtags and filters, there still are some humble souls who appreciate the power of words.

Have a great week ahead!

Dear Reader

Do me a favor, will you? Start Reading. Take out one book everyday, read a single page, hell read a paragraph if you can, but read. Just read. Why am I asking you this? Let me explain you today, why the people who read are better at mostly all the things they do.

The world would be such a better place if people just read. Not the Teen Vogue, not the tech-magazine, but read the words and experiences of the writers who took years to pen down their thoughts, their imagination and their pain. Read, my friend and you will know what madness is. You will know what addiction and depression is. You will live and experience exactly what they did. Whether it is the drunken lover scribbling in the middle of the night, writing prose for his beloved or it maybe a small room brimming with scrolls of texts and stories lying haphazardly, written long before you were born, resting in the layers of dust assembled over time, waiting to be read all over again, to tell their story once again.

 

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You will pass through so many bodies and live the life of people you’ve never known. You’ll gain their experiences and collect their wisdom and their lessons. In this way, dear reader, you’ll become more wise, more insightful. You will experience love and heartbreak, loyalty and betrayal, all through those flat, rectangular pieces of magic called books.

You, dear reader, will make an amazing lover. Because you will know and understand love from inside out, and experience its every miniscule phase. Whether it’s unrequited love or just pure, blissful, maddening love. You will know what it’s like to break someone’s heart and what it’s like to have a heart broken. You will know it all, so you would never hurt anyone, only because you will understand it from both the sides-the broker and the broken.  Loving you would be like loving a thousand different souls.

You will experience deaths and births of character others will never get to know. You will weep in their joy and adversity, you will live with them right till the end, until you finish the very last chapter of their brief story and wish you could live it all over again. My dear dubious reader, with each book you finish you’ll become more cognitive, you’ll understand the human world all the more better, you’ll learn to empathize with people, understand their sorrow, give them pieces of broken advices you learnt from a character in a story you read years before- it will come back to you like electricity.

You”ll have friends that live in books. Friends who will never leave you, and if you put the book down they’ll wait for you patiently to come back and read again. They will understand you and listen to you, they will never leave you alone or let you down.

And the best part of all, dear reader, you’ll have so many adventures to tell, so many stories to narrate, you’ll be an explorer in yourself. You will visit lands far away, unknown to mankind, you’ll watch them getting discovered and getting swept away in time. You will travel places far from the human grasp only by sitting in your couch.IMG_153331903913833[1]

 

People will look up to you. They will know that when they talk to you, they will have tons of fables to listen to, and people will assemble at your feet on a cold, winter evening by the fireside, to hear your voice narrating that tale and to live it with you, just like you did.  They will get shivers each time you say “Once upon a time..” yet with legs crossed they will pay attention to each and every word that drips out of your tongue.

My dear, humble reader, you’ll be able to speak aloud thoughts that you never thought resided within you, you’ll subconsciously unlock them and marvel at them-the thoughts that lay at some far remote corner of your mind.

And lastly, you my kind, cherished and intrigued reader, shall live life in a very thoughtful, fanciful and imaginative way- treasuring the value of every small moment in your life and knowing their importance-storing them to be discovered yet again.

You shall be the very box of magic, which when opened leads the passage to a thousand doorways of lands possessing breathtaking stories of extraordinary characters ready to be lived and discovered again. You shall own the key to the unknown. You will be complete my friend, and the best of all, no matter how much you read, it would never be enough.

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Dear reader, I hope you keep visiting lands and sailing oceans, moving mountains and discovering strange woods with unusual inhabitants and baffling stories. I hope you see beauty in the clouds and the flight of the birds, I hope you see wonder in those loud and splattering waterfalls and I hope that one day amidst the magic and felicity, you find yourself.