A book is a compendium of knowledge. As I ruffle through its pages, my whole body gets a pleasant convulsion, its scent wafting through, enriching me with its wisdom, its timeless sheen passed on. At times, I wonder what people used to do when there were no books. A time when all the knowledge has to be passed on verbally. It must be unthinkable back then that the words uttered by their wise men would continue to guide the future generations, as most of this ancient knowledge was passed onto next generations by shruti-smriti i.e. by listening & memorising, thats how our ancient shlokas have survived, which continue to play an important part in Hindu tradition and religious functions even today. Somewhere in the past the written word was invented and it became possible to write down all the thoughts and philosophies, Hindu vedas being a prime example of this. Modern technologies like printing, publishing and of late internet has further widened the horizon of written words and books & e-books have become an essential part of our life.
However, having said that, I feel that books are just a medium. Probably the human mind and more importantly our soul is able to preserve the knowledge in its purest form. It has a storehouse of memory dating back to centuries, with the knowledge of not only this birth but of previous ones as well. This memory card must be of much higher capacity than the ones used in our computers, what with scores of information loaded into its motherboard in layer after layer, accumulated over the vast times. All of this is registered and maintained in our sub conscience that is accessible by making some special efforts at our part, at times through meditation or involuntarily in our dreams and imagination, giving us valuable guidance and enriching the experience of life. I feel that most of the books are also written for the same purpose.The writer feels that he is writing from his imagination, creating a fancy world for others, but often, it is his own dreams, conscience or sub conscience that get reflected in his writings. Some authors impress us with their power of over riding reality by their fertile imagination. however, if we pause and think deeply, it is revealed that he is able to achieve that instant connection due to the striking similarity with our own thinking, our own dreams.
I am an avid book lover, reading almost being an obsession for me. Books give me immense pleasure and I have devoured many with gusto. It is my habit to read scores of books by the same writer, who has managed to strike a chord. I have often noticed that the writers involuntarily revolve around a specific agenda. Some of them fixated with odd strange characters, and others being too vocal about the needs and conditions of a specific gender, caste or creed. It may very well be called their area of expertise. But, somewhere deep down I feel that it has got something to do with their past unfinished karmas, goading them to purge their long hidden emotions. As readers, we instantly form a karmic connection with them, imbibing their thoughts and deciphering their dreams. Our own mental and emotional state plays a vast role in our understanding of the written word, dictating to a large extent the books we chose to read.
The Review Section of this Blog is dedicated to these very thoughts, the impressions books left on my mind, the lessons I learnt, the secrets I discovered, the feelings that I experienced. these books have comforted me in times of pain, held me aloft in turbulent times and taught me to appreciate beauty in least expected things. I would like to share these feelings with my readers. This section is less about the author, the character, the plot or the story, and more about the after effect of the readings, the way it has affected my life!