If there's anything I never get bored of, it's a story. You know how much I love books, but this love was cultivated because of my love for stories. Or maybe vice versa, I don't know, because I am still not too much into movies. I am interested, but in those guaranteed to make me cry, the emotional ones. I find the written ones more satisfying, more solid, more permanent. Stories have led me to believe in worlds different than mine, even when I was a kid. I was curious, always wanting to know 'what happened?' which only fueled the thirst for more stories. Why did Ariel have such a strict father? Why was Cinderella treated badly? What happened to the golden stallion who left the castle? Why do people die? And when they do, where do they go? How long is 'never'? Can you get anything you want? Why do people love their cars so much? What's all this about money? Why does an impulsive person behave like that?
There have always been questions, questions and questions and you know how there's no one to answer those, so when you read/hear stories that seem to answer some of the quirky questions, how can you not be fascinated? Of course I needed to know. All my life I've lived in stories and I don't see it as anything wrong. Some have expressed their concerns, and I understand your worries, but you needn't. I'm as much "practical" as I'm a dreamer and you may not see it. I'm not perfect. I don't feel one particular way for most things. It's not an either this or that for me. I would say something, but I'd believe in the opposite too. Except when it's immoral or unethical or just a sin, I believe each point of view is right. Many of us are the kind who are strongly opinionated and I sort of feel sorry for them, because they're missing the whole point. When you read stories, you understand reasons. Why is Ariel's father strict? Because he's seen the bad side of humans and doesn't want his precious daughter to suffer. Why was Cinderella treated badly? Because of jealousy. Why do impulsive people behave the way they do? Because maybe, once their inaction caused a 'catastrophe' and since then they try to act, all the time. They're clouded with this sense of dread, the need to "do something".
See? If it weren't for stories, how else would you know? Those aren't even unreal, by the way. Every story has a meaning behind it, a thought, a life experience, an understanding, a lesson, a mistake. If it's fantasy, it's like attaching meanings to things that supposedly, don't exist, in a form of personification or symbolization. Like in dreams. It's all real somewhere and you better believe it. See it as a mystery. When you read enough or read carefully, you see how it all 'connects'. Be it the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, or the way how some words connect you to stories. For example, whenever I come across "swan", I can link it back to The Ugly Duckling, when I read/hear the word "gazelle", I remember The Gazelle Boy, a story about a boy raised by gazelles in some mountain place, read in an English class in school and I really liked it. Similarly, "Frankfurt" takes me to Heidi, "Vienna" to The Star of Kazan, "Princess" to Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries, "dreams" to The Leap and so on. I love this connected-ness. It's like everything has an origin, nothing is aloof, everything has its own place, its own home. I like this sense of security.
I started reading Looking for Alaska by John Green yesterday. I put it down this afternoon, right after some crazily catastrophic scene that made me hyperventilate. Or feel an intense emotion which I can't understand. I'll pick it up for the rest, later. That book is so different from any other that I've read. I knew it would be good, because this same author's other book was profound and lovely too. I don't even want to start with the awesome reviews. I was however, very much confused because I was not liking one of the main characters. I thought, 'God! This is one spoilt brat. How can anyone be like this?' I also disapproved of those kids' behavior. The book even then, has a certain pull to it. However those kids might be, they're smart. And I love smart kids. As you read along, you understand so many things on your own. The book doesn't even need words to make you understand. You figure out things on your own, you get to know why Alaska Young was the way she was, what everything means. And it's philosophical, too, like The Fault in Our Stars. I was reading both these on my Kindle, but just ordered paperback copies for both!
Here are some great lines from Looking for Alaska:
“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
“People, I thought, wanted security. They couldn't bear the idea of death being a big black nothing, couldn't bear the thought of their loved ones not existing, and couldn't even imagine themselves not existing. I finally decided that people believed in an afterlife because they couldn't bear not to.”
“What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.”
“When you're walking home at night, do you even get creeped out and even though it's silly and embarrassing you just want to run home?"
It seemed too secret and personal to admit to virtual stranger, but I told her, "Yeah, totally."
For a moment, she was quiet. Then she grabbed my hand, whispered, "Run run run run run," and took off, pulling me behind her.”
And there are a lot more. Click here to read more on Goodreads.
You know, I don't hate people who don't read, because I believe maybe they get their own share of stories from other sources (like I got a lot many from grandma), maybe movies and such. And those who're blissfully ignorant of either, I feel sorry for them. They don't get it and I make little efforts with lost causes. But I do like to introduce people to this world and I can safely say I have been able to affect at least a handful. Every one counts. That, I think would be my biggest achievement till date. What do you think of stories? Agree with me? ;)