The girl had never seen a shop like that before. It was slightly dark, the walls were hidden behind rows and columns of books, old and weary. The smiling man who was talking to her father noticed the wonder in her eyes, pulled down a small book and said, “take it, you can read and give it back to me.” And thus she crossed the doors to a wonderland where she still remains, happily lost in that magical labyrinth.
Years have passed by, people have asked her time and again why she refuses to come out or what is it that keeps her so enthralled. She was so busy travelling across places, meeting and talking to characters from across the world and sometimes even from outer space, sharing thoughts, learning new things, that she never thought it was necessary to even think of the why. For she believed some joys are meant to be savored sans reason. When the questions persist and people around continue to wonder the how, why, when and where, maybe its time she at least made an attempt at it.
Why does she read? The answer is quite simple, there is nothing in the world that gives her as much happiness and peace. Is it an easy escape route for her? Maybe. Or is it that the wanderlust in her gets some satiation? More so. Could it be that she gets to meet people that she wouldn’t have otherwise? Yes. And would it be that she enjoys her grey cells being simulated? Of course yes, because in her life of routines,many of the souls that she gets to meet…. she hopes you get the drift. Or is it that serendipitous feeling of meeting a kindred soul in an author who talks exactly the same voice that has been wandering inside her for ages? Yes, that too, and she says that is one feeling that cannot be explained so easily. So going back to the question, why read? She asks back, Why the song? Why the dance? What for the sun, the rain, the breeze? Why the air and why breathe? Or for that matter, why live at all?
Does she read too much? And what does she get out of it? Her answer is not in her words. It is in the sparkle of two pairs of eyes as they delve into the land of princes and princesses. It is the thud of a young heart that beat loud and strong with someone on a bicycle along the French countryside, the same heart that almost broke into a million pieces as the cyclist fell into a deep and dark gorge. It is also in a mind that is soaking in everything around like an insatiable sponge, spewing it out in bits and pieces, sometimes as a pleasant surprise, at other times as a rude shock, but never a boring drone. The reward is a lifetime friend, that will never let her or her angels down , who will be there when they need it. What she gets in return for the long hours with her head in between the leaves of papyrus are a pair of heads that rests on her shoulders, two cherubic voices that ring out in laughter , tears that flow down a couple of cheeks as she guides them into that magical land she has always been in. What she also gets are two beings who slowly turn into humans and she hopes and prays the magic remains in them and they reside in that magic for life.
Have these characters of fiction, these weavers of magic, changed her? Her friends over the years consider her a little different, slightly crazy and mostly a dreamer. They love to remind her that she hasn’t changed a bit. She begs to differ, though.Yes, essentially she is the same person that she has always been. What has changed is the way she thinks, how she reacts, and the slow but sure tempering of the flaming fire that was her hallmark. Some might say it is the years that is mellowing her. She doesn’t disagree, but that’s not the only thing. It is also the people that she has met, the experiences that she has been through, the loved ones that she lost along the way and the new loves that meandered their way into her life. What has sustained her through this is the magic that she found all those years ago. Not everyone is lucky enough for that, though.
You need to be magical to find that special kind of magic.