Life and Literature
Academically I belong to the science stream. Apart from language papers, I had no other touch with literature. In fact, there were days where I’d even wondered how people spend money to buy novels and anthologies of short stories. To me buying literature was a waste of money. Instead of spending on literary works the money could constructively (!) be spent on buying must read science books and other academic works; so were my thoughts. This way of thinking was mainly due to my perception of science and literature, then.
By that time I was engrossed with science all the time and reading anything else other than science to was squandering time. I firmly believed that human existence could sustain and be improved only with scientific advancements and technological growth. Literature in my perception was nothing more than ‘stories’ that help one to while away the time.
Still I wonder how I met literature on my way and wonder even more how I encountered its soul!
Learning science would certainly help an individual to understand how life works but will never teach what life is. Reading literary works is the best way to understand human existence with all its colours. It gradually leads the reader to the path of self discovery and begins to train the mind to perceive the world around you in the most appreciable way. Fiction enables one to live million lives within a life time. It transports the reader to a constructed universe that mirrors the realities. The intricacies of human relationships couldn’t be better understood other that art and literature. A good literary work consoles the troubled mind, counsels and heals the wounds of the mind.
Reading is the most joyous thing that one might do in his/her life, for it helps one to expand his self and transform into another persona, at least momentary. It is akin to out-of-the-body experience. How many nights would you’ve lived someone’s life transiently through the carbon letters printed on papers? Would anything else match or replace that experience? You might argue a similar experience to his could also be derived by a cinema viewer too. I agree, but partly.
Cinema is a supreme form of art which actually is an amalgamation of many art forms. It opens a plethora of ways to engage with, through its visuals, sound, colours, angles, approach and a lot other. So it claims a lot from the viewer that there is plenty of practice required to derive more from it. Besides even a matured viewer has all the chance to miss something during his viewing. But a sincere reader, who clasps hands with the author, is taken to every minute detail that most of that which is offered doesn’t get lost. Except the inner meaning, which could be revealed to those who read between the lines, everything else reaches the reader in full.
In the journey of reading literature, on the way, some where everyone might understand that the segregation between life and literature vanishes and become one.