When you open a book, you're opening a door. A door which leads you into someone's life. Someone extraordinary, or someone just like you. It doesn't the book envelopes you in it's soft embrace and you let it, for you see no point in resisting it. And for that time, your worries, your joys, your memories, your life itself ceases to matter. What begins to matter is the person's soul you're sneaking a peek into. Their joys. Their laughter, their sorrows and life outside the book, as we know it, our life, ceases to matter and as odd as it may seem, the thought doesn't bother us at all. We simply assume we've entered a new life. A much more covetous, worthy and enigmatic one. But most importantly, one which assures you that in the end, things will turn out to be alright.
But then as the last chapter unfolds, the person in our new life triumphs, and with no more pages to ravish, we sit there, dumbstruck, relishing the bitter-sweet taste one gets after finishing a cherished book. And where the fairytale of our new life ends, the nightmare of our old life begins, searing it's way into our lives. Digging it's talons in our mind, jerking us awake from the pleasant dream we had comfortably ensconced ourselves in.
But then, as much as we fight valiantly to hide our cowardice, reality strikes back. Rips off the pleasant dreams we had wrapped ourselves in and compels us to face our fears. And we try. With all our might. We want to be our own knight in shining armour. We want to be as brave as the person in the book we so cherished. We want to prove to ourselves that we're as special and extraordinary as they were. That our life is actually worth living despite all it's tyranny and darkness and monotony. That we will be the light which illuminates the dark. Yes, we try to believe. We try to believe that the author of our very own story is throwing obstacles at us so that we might surpass them, have an epiphany or two in the process, and emerge triumphant. Yes, we try to believe.
But then there's the cynic in us. Or is it the realist? We do not know for sure. It could be the latter, it could be the former. Or it could be both. But as naive and desperate as we are. We often succumb to the cynic (or the realist?) in us who chides us for being a coward. For taking refuge in a petty book.
But more importantly, or foolishly , for believing that we're different. That we're special. That we're meant to do great things in life. The audacity of us to think up such ridiculous notions.
And the tiny spark of hope, which we believed so vehemently would light the darkness, extinguishes. Leaving us to drown in our misery. And so we do. We let the monotony of our daily life pull us in. We don't fight it. Fighting it makes it harder. Losing to it again and again weakens our will to live at all. So we lie like a wasteland slowly sinking into the bottomless abyss.
Till one day, another irresistible,much coveted book, with that glossy cover, the scent of papyrus which drives us into a frenzy and which makes our heart skip a beat, comes into view.
Then, we're resuscitated. Then we're somehow okay. Because once again, we're in someone else's life. We're crying for someone else's sorrow, laughing at someone else's memoirs, living someone else's life.
We, become that someone else again. But something has changed. We were prepared for the inevitable this knew the crass life that lay outside the realms of the magical world that had once again pulled us into it's sweet embrace. And somehow we were okay with were okay with the fact that things in the world are still as callous and cruel as ever. Still as wrong as ever. Still as strange as ever. We came to accept it. And we were strangely okay with it.
Because we knew something that wouldn't be as vile or callous as the world outside.
We might not be as great as the heroes from our favourite books. But with the tiny part of us that covets to be like them, even if only a small insignificant way,we realize we're already them. And we're already different. And special. And although, sometimes it may seem like the author of our life is a sick sadist, we know that in the end it will all be okay. Just like our heroes. Just like in our books.
Except for one thing.
We get to live it.
For the Ancient Sufi poet Rumi said
'A wealth you cannot imagine flows through you, do not consider what others say. Stay secluded in your secret heart house, that bowl of silence'.
So then we're a little braver than we were. A little smarter, a little stronger and a little happier. And a little more like the heroes we want to be like. And life is a little sweeter and lot less harsher. And we're our knight in shining armors. Well, almost. :)