Thursday, December 20, 2012
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Truly when I think back on what life has given me, I think...I believe life has been extraordinarily unfair to me on many fronts. No I am not complaining, it's how it was meant to be, but I regret that it had to happen with me.
To begin with I had everything to be the best. Yes yes you might think 'Okay boss this is what everyone says about themselves'. But I know was. I always wanted to be the best student in my school, I did everything I could, but I never could. My teachers never treated me as that best student, even after I won the best student's award. I used to think I wasn't good enough. I tried harder, poured in more than my little me could give. It won me laurels but I was never treated as the best.
To reason out, I shouldn't say, but I have to, that while I studied in a Catholic school and I not being a catholic, I never was allowed to be felt the best. I don't talk against my school, for it's the very foundation on which I stand today, but on the way it treated me for the naive part of my life.
Well as I passed out of high school, I thought I was out of misery and now I shall be redeemed. But wait my college sucked at a different level. Oh my oh my! It was 2 years of utter misery. I was recognised, but I wasn't the best around. With my 10th grade marks I managed to bag a seat in one of Mumbai's best colleges. But you know what killed the happiness? To find that amongst the best, I was nowhere near the best. The recognition from my professors was a mere illusion. And you know fake things aren't worth living for.
So I began my struggle to be the best. I had to defeat them. I spent my days and nights studying, working my way to beat all my peers in my professional life. I had set higher aims, higher than I could achieve so that I never get satisfied and keep trying for higher and higher goals.
It was june 2008, and I remember the ecstasy on my face when I found I was able to out perform my peers in the examinations. Oh my joy knew no bounds. So what next? Engineering-the obvious choice for me. (I always wanted to be an engineering, but I don't enjoy being one now) Into One of Mumbai's best, made myself a position much enviable to my friends.
I was 18 by then and I hadn't, what teens call enjoy'ed, my life a single bit. I was so engrossed in all this worldly competition I never went out for a date, I had few friends to talk to. People called me alien and machine. But I always told myself,
'Soutik, it's the sacrifice you made to be better at your professional life!'
And I still live by it. I don't regret not knowing what enjoying life was as my teenage flew past by. I don't regret myself having a girlfriend. To be honest I never found anyone worthy.
Come engineering, I had all I craved my life, recognition, a better stance in the crowd. I stood apart but I craved for more and as a result I am studying for my CAT while still presently being in the penultimate year of my engineering, hoping to make it to the IIMs one day.
I was glad everything was picture perfect. But life wasn't happy seeing me happy. For the very first time in my life I fell for someone. And I fell hard. Now you shall think my sad story is that I broke up with the girl of my dreams. Well apparently I di..
Well we both fell in love with each other. But we never dated. I wanted to but the girl was scared of loosing the friendship we have. We are addicted to each other. Now that we both look at ourselves we find that we have ourselves so entangled with each other that none of us can live without the other and we are so scared of loosing each other that we can't get together.
For most of you, this will be plain B.S. but put yourself in my shoes and the world's a different place.
Now we are at such a juncture that if we let go of what we have, we shall eventually break ourselves up emotionally, and if we get together probably we shall loose ourselves of each other for a lifetime. The worst dilemma I ever faced.
But as it has always been life's been unfair. Life would've been so different if I studied in a different school, or college, meet a different girl and so on so forth.
I shall probably write this same article again a fews years later, with what happened next but I hope my post title changes to, 'Life WAS unfair'.