So we meet again. We have met before. Don’t think I am a specific book. Think of me as any book that you want me to be. I maybe the fantasy book you read as a child. I may be the Textbook you open just before the exam. I may be the self-help book you read when you are low. I may be the Holy Scripture that you don’t read and wish that you do. I am me – in different forms. But I am – at the end of day a book. And I and you share a bond that is deeper than you would have thought of.
What am I? Contrary to popular perception, I am not the bunch of paper – stacked and bound. No Dear. I am the idea that I carry. Beneath the cover, and hidden in the maze of black and white – I am an idea. You are my creator. I was born in a head like yours. I sustain myself by your interaction. I was born to spread the idea. Once I am read, I don’t die. I evolve. I live on in a tiny corner of your brain – slowly influencing your life. I interact with the many other thoughts that you have imbibed. And we all subject you mind to a constant state of churn. I have a life of my own inside the reader’s mind.
I have caused wars. And I have caused peace. I am the cure for many a disease. I have chronicled all the progress from the day your kind remembers. I have caused a million mutinies and I have heralded many a revolution. Some cultures worship me. I am the unsung hero behind every successful person. I have spawned movies. And I have spawned plays. Internet is my ally. It has made me more popular and accessible.
From since you were very young, I have been with you. You are what you are – partly because of the lovely genes your parents gave you, and partly for how you built a relationship with me. I have been used in many ways alternate by you – from a trophy to a pillow. For some, I am a friend. For others an enemy. I have seen your eyes light up when you see me. And I have seen your mouth go “YAAAWN” too. Some of you accept me as I am. Swallow my idea whole. Some of you fight with me. Fight with each and every word that I am. And I love those battles. I just want to tell you, I love you all. I evoke passion in a few of you. And in few, I evoke a sense of awe.
I come in all shapes and sizes. I am sold for pennies – and I am auctioned for millions. I come in hardcover and I come in paperback I come with colorful photos and images. And I come in dry black and white. I am found in premium book stores. And I am found in dingy alleys. I am found in libraries. And I am found in barber shops. I am your companion when on a journey. And I am the partner you end up sleeping with in the night. I am loved by people when I am fresh white. And I am valued when I am old and yellowed. I come in many genres. I am read by the young and the old. The black and the white – and the browns. I am adored by the rich and the poor. The boys and the girls. I am the weapon of choice for the right wing and the left. The capitalist and the socialist. I do not discriminate. I am omnipresent. Oh my God, Do I sound like God?
I have feelings too. I am not disappointed when you blurt “What Rubbish” after reading me. I am not hurt one bit when I get torn. I find it fun when I see you look at my price tag and haggle with the uncle at the Bookstore. You leave your mark on me when you make your jottings on me. They are like scars of the battle that I fight with your mind. And I adorn them proudly, showing off to the other readers what I have gone through.
I find it annoying when you tell your friend “not to read” me as I am full of gibberish. That is the biggest disservice that you are doing to your friend. For now, he will never be able to experience me – and I might just have changed his life. You fail to understand that though both of you are humans, the dissimilarities in the ways your minds function outweigh your commonalities.
I came into existence for a reason. I exist to spread the idea. Like you, I too look forward to the journey of life. But many of you imprison me. Lock me up in your cupboards I was not born to adorn your shelf. Set me free. Give me your friend. Let him experience me. And let him pass on his friend. Let her experience me. A bookshelf overflowing with books resembles a prison to me. I am not a trophy for show off. Respect me. Show me your love by allowing me to go on the adventure that I have always longed for. You will find a book more special than me, if only you were to look.
Hold my hand. And let us walk on the journey of life… Amen !