When in college, I got my hands on ‘Gone with the wind’. Although a voracious reader, just looking at the size of the novel, I felt it was an over whelming task to read it. But not for long. I was attracted to the first sentence in the book Scarlet O’ Hara was not beautiful. And completed the 1000 odd pages novel in about a week..
I just loved the horses, carriages, bonnets, muslin dresses, slaves and owners, land; the luxuries and comfort of life before war and the fall in the living conditions after the war.
Moral or amoral, I could not help liking Scarlett. If I liked Scarlet, I was gaga over Rhett Butler. I wept like crazy (it’s kind of embarrassing admitting this J) at the end of the novel when Rhett walks out of the house leaving Scarlett. I just did not want the book to end. Finishing the book left me with a very heavy heart. One novel that would always remain close to my heart..
Since we have entered the world of feelings and emotions with Gone with the wind, let me talk about Thomas Hardy’s stories. I read the novel tess of the d’urbervilles at office. And for the next few days after finishing it, I was just not myself. Glooomy. Sad. Melancholy. A novel, a work of fiction, could move me so much??…that’s Thomas Hardy I guess. Even if you consider yourself a person aloof to emotions, Thomas Hardy is one author who can identify those buried emotions in you and drag them to the surface. His novels touch some very deep cord within you even if you choose to bury it.
And continued with Far from the madding crowd and the woodlanders…and I was moved by these novels as much as I was for tess. Wodehouse – I read the first PG Wodehouse novel on Jeeves and Wooster also in office. And I was not just smiling or giggling while reading the story…I was kind of laughing aloud like crazy and trying hard to control myself..people in office might think I have lost my mind. These stories made me laugh and more than that..they made me happy. PG Wodehouse’s greatness lies in weaving stories over very small and insignificant things which we do not even bother to notice.
And thus continued my saga with reading – Sidney Sheldon, Robin Cook, John Grisham, Fredrick Forsyth, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens – geniuses in their own way. As I kept reading, something in me started changing too. I felt that I was being drifted through various characters, experiences, plots, styles…until I came across something that I haven’t known before, a part of me that I didn’t know existed. I was thoroughly surprised looking at my other self – a part that could write, or rather felt it could write J