I am not a writer, nor have I been blessed with a plethora of words that I can use to entice readers. But, while I began writing my first story – that eventually became a 140-page book – I realised the emotions that a writer, or for that matter, any artist feels.
Art is a gift from the gods, because not everyone has the capability to create something that didn’t exist. Take, for instance, a song or a movie or a web-series. Before their creation, no one knows about them. But after they have been created – the music, the movie or the dialogues become a prominent part of our lives. This creation is not lesser than a scientific feat or a geological discovery.
Creating art is magic – it is innovation, it is the process of digging out something that didn’t previously exist. A daily soap, a beautiful song, or a good fiction book – they may not necessarily be a part of the tangible world we live in, but they change the way we think, they change our discourse and narratives and sometimes, challenge the very fundamentals on how we lead our life.
I wrote a book that was published on Amazon in November. I got an average response from the readers – some extolled it, while others pointed out various mistakes which they had observed in my story. Despite all this, for me, writing a book was a big feat. When I was a teenager, I lacked the belief that one day, I would go on to successfully write a book. Despite the reviews and the criticism, the very fact that I was able to write a book, and that too one with a comprehensive storyline, satiated me. I felt good, internally and mentally.
I believe that in an increasingly acrimonious atmosphere filled with vitriol and hate, books provide a comfortable space that takes us away from all the pandemonium unfolding across the digital and the real world. Reading is an exercise and people should read more often.
The problem is that in India, we either read to pass in schools or to pass the recruitment tests. Apart from passing the examinations, we should also read for the sake of reading. Sometimes, we should read not out of the fear of failing an examination but because of our urge to read. The habit of reading books should be taught to the youth. Rather than spewing vitriol against each other and listening to the obsolete ways of living advocated by religious leaders, people should read more books. It will give them more wisdom and knowledge than the self-proclaimed religious gurus.
Rather than giving costly gifts, one should rather gift books to people on their birthdays and anniversaries. Other gifts may be expensive but books will be knowledgeable and helpful.