After doing my usual rounds on the internet, hopping from
one favourite book blog to another, an unforeseen ponderousness came over me.
More than half of the blogs I visited had a widget on the side which displayed
their reading challenge for this year and the percentage completion. The point
that disturbed me was that all of them challenged themselves to read nothing
less than seventy books a year. Then it got me thinking, “Am I not a voracious
reader anymore?” Of late there was a frustrating feeling that lurked within me
about not having enough time to read. I
went to bed last night worrying about my falling commitment to books which I
vowed at the age of seven would be my life.
The scene unfolded with a chaotic situation all around a
town which was supposedly my town of actual residence. There was a general
upheaval and I heard people shouting “Watch out”. The feeling of insecurity was
clearly established and this led me to the place I could take refuge in- my
library. I was amazed to see that the modest number of books in my real library
had multiplied by thousands. It was the ideal library with complete collections
of Plato, Tolstoy, Dickens, Austen, Greene, Woolf and every other imaginable
literary God or Goddess. My feet trembled and my head started to feel dizzy as
I ran frantically from shelf to shelf collecting those precious books I had to
save from the catastrophe. And I found myself on the floor finally.
A hand touched my shoulder and I beheld the image of a
person with a saint like voice. She hadn’t uttered a word, yet I decided she
was an angel sent by God to rescue my books.
“Will they come here for my books?” I cried. She helped me onto my feet
and said, “Not likely”.
“Will they send me into exile for stocking books? Oh dear!
You know I can’t live without them”
“See child, your room overlooks that young Professor’s. He
has a bigger collection there. It’s not a crime to stock books. Take heart, now
go read Dickens” she said and was gone.
When I awoke I had a good feeling of having read something
wonderful. But I can’t deny that another part of me felt a great deal stupid
too. I realized I had had a dream like never before. It was intriguing to note
that the odd campaigns I witnessed on the roads last week, the nine pm news on
television, the scene at King’s Cross from the eighth Potter movie and my
personal guilt of not having read as much as before had created such a strange
dream. As I sat analysing it extrapolating
conclusions from the minute details I was pleased to reassure myself that I
still held the position of a compulsive reader. Now I bravely forge ahead to
attend to my daily routines with a renewed confidence that I have enough time
to read. I mean, I ought to stop day-dreaming during those never-ending evening