Written by: Radhika Mendiratta
Edited by: Vipul Murarka
The fantasies of the heart unabatedly surpass the pace of lightening, thunderstorms and tornados. The unstoppable dreams, lunatic ideas of the mind, imaginings which soar into the infinity of stars and skies and sink in the depths of the ocean, the unabashed insanity, fearlessness of judgement, the mania for taking the ‘the road not taken’, wherein the whims and fancies flutter and dance to their tunes, these elements are diffused in the air an author breathes.
Reading an author is like strolling through a fertile imagination. We enter a kaleidoscopic world where images and glimpses flash vividly. As the reader progresses through the magical universe, spread among the pages of a book, his past dawns, noons and future dusks are indelibly imprinted with the creative experience. Literature mirrors life. It introduces us with the unpredictability of life, stimulates us to think the unthinkably, smell the unbelievable fragrances and leaves us drenched in wonder and feelings of bliss.
Why be quiet readers? Lets be interactive readers!
The very idea of ‘reading together’ is appealing. Reading with a pal is an effective form of reading, as we become familiar with new ideologies, notions, view-points, opinions, perspectives regarding a piece of work. It broadens our horizon as we mould from possessing an insular thinking to beings with a cosmopolitan outlook. We evolve as mature individuals who are accommodative, all – encompassing and non – judgemental as in the process of discussing mutually we learn to accept diverse opinions and respect dissimilar strains of thought, knowing there are millions of them existing in the world parallel to ours. Moreover, we learn the art of co-existence while embracing the qualities which make people and their lives different, rather than discarding them. Hence, we rejoice the in festive spirit of flexibility.
The exchange of views is an essential element in shared reading. It enriches our taste by bringing new aromas and flavours on the platter of learning. Each conversation with our reader buddies unfolds the fragrance of fresh feelings evoked during our reading of a work of literature. As we absorb the contents of numerous books during the discussions, we receive an opportunity to gain a glimpse into the mindscape of myriad-minded writers who give us a penetrating insight into things. Their deeply perceptive pair of eyes receive with the same sensitivity as they reflect and we are bound to feel after reading their masterpieces,
“What so oft was thought, but never so well expressed!”
My Buddy: Have you finished reading the book?
Me: No, I have completed one quarter of it as I began reading another book. Its an old copy I found in the chest of books and was captivated by the scent its pages retained. I was smellbound !
My Buddy (worried): Radhika, the idea of buddy-reading is that we should complete the book we have mutually decided and discuss. Don’t you think you should pursue your leisurely ventures later?
Me (reluctantly): Yes, I shall finish reading the book today.
If the act of being unfaithful to one book by reading another simultaneously is a fault on the part of a book-lover, then all the bibliophiles in the world would be guilty of readultery. Isn’t it the most beautiful wrong-doing a book devourer can be accused of?
The concept of the 40th Readers’ meet of Jaipur Book Lovers Club entitled “Buddy-Read Meetup” was innovatively designed as it gave us a wholesome exposure of a variety of books. Unlike all the previous meetups which celebrated masterpieces of a single author or genre, this meetup was promising as it explored the galaxy of literature.
A constellation of books comprising of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Low Land by Jhumpa Lahiri, Veronica decided to die by Paulo Coelho, The Power of Sub-conscious Mind by Joseph Murthy, The Trial by Franz Kafka, Gauri by Ajeet Kaur, Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, Land of Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal, When Breathe becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie shone on Sunday.
Reading together is a talent, not everyone can carry that kind of grace. . . . We, the family of Jaipur Book Lovers Club have crafted our calibers to master the art.
As we opened our coffer of precious literary works and showcased them along with interesting speeches, narrations, and contributions by the members of the readers’ community, most of us found our ‘scrollmates’, authors we feel a deep connection with. . . . . . These multifaceted and rainbowhued shades brought ‘life’ in our reading experiences and gifted us ‘The lessons for life’.
The event was gratifying for the book-bosomed ones and they found books which would glitter as jewels in their treasure-house of tomes. Some new faces graced us with their presence and took back experiences…….a gluttony for reading, they were constantly drunk on books as other men get drunk on whiskey or religion, emotion-packed narrations as memories. It was a delight to bask in the ‘litmosphere’ where we all experienced the lively literary mood permeating the air.
Voracious readers and future writers and artists of our beloved pink city Jaipur participated in the ‘Buddy-Read Meetup’ of Jaipur Book Lovers Club and enriched an enchanting world of story-telling where we preserve the legacy and heritage of the past by orally transmitting folk tales, fables, anecdotes, myths and mythology, legends, history and traditions of the past. As the Canadian writer Margaret Atwood has beautifully said,
“In the end, we’ll all become stories.”
Radhika is passionate about writing poetry, and holds a masters degree in English. Aesthetics and Nature are a perennial source of joie-de-vivre for her. She is gearing up for beautiful times ahead!