August 21st, 2006

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Compulsive Reads

There are some books that you compulsively read, that catch your attention and make you erad till the last page, the last line. Even when you want to tear away from it. When you dont want to remember you started reading it. Books like these are either grimly written or are about grim subjects. Sometimes they can be extremely sweet live stories with something not quite right. Books like these tell you what may be the truth somewhere which you cannot comprehend.
Stories about people, events, which might not happen to you but which draw you in, like the spiders web aruond the living fly.
The writers manage to engage your attention. It may be that the writing style is so definitive, so distinctive, that you cannot help but get mesmerised. The reader becomes a compulsive page turner. In some cases the readers leave the book half read. However, here, it becomes difficult. REading becomes a necessity, like a slow addiction. A need to be fulfilled. A need that may not be quite enjoyed, but a need nevertheless.
Sometimes the story may become gripping in its own way. That being, nothing really happening in it. A book being a faithful mirror of non-activity. The compulsion then is to read the end, and to know how the end makes sense - by reading the rest of the book.
In some even rarer occurences, the story becomes interesting. You really dont go for the authors style or inactivity of the book, but you become interested in the story. However, the story is something you rather not know. It is an assault on yoru senses. Something totally radically new, presented in a way which makes it difficult for you to accept it. And yet, makes you glued to it. You want to read it to know what happens next. What such a situation is like, and at the same time await the last page eagerly.

Finishing such books is a relief of sorts. A task accomplished. A curiosity fulfilled. A book that usually does not leave you with a view of 'good' or 'bad'. It is rather, an 'interesting' book, or an interesting writer.

Irresistible books, I am sure most adventurous book readers have read them. One of my firsts was The Great Gatsby. Irresistible. A mirror.
And then there came many. God of Small Things and Jhumpa Lahiri being some of the prominent ones.
However, the first time I came to share the experience was with a book my ex-flatmate V had got - by an Indian author, it was dark, mysterious, vengeful and depressing. Something all three of us (M, V and me) wanted to read, yet not read. Yet i cannot remember the name of it now. Something about 'Dusk'...ah! 'Last Song of Dusk'.

Even as I read 'The Sopranos' by Alan warner, I get drawn back into the same cycle.

One thing is definetely true about them all. They are well-acclaimed books, underlining their compulsive readability.
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The world and I

Pace of Life

The electronic media is potentially dangerous with respect to deletion.
Once deleted, nothign can be done about it. Its not a tangible that can be reclaimed from a fire. It is nothing that can be picked up, no matter how dirty, from the trash, nor followed behind the postman. Like a spoken word, objects once deleted, cannot be reclaimed, in any way whatsoever.

Interesting. Just goes ahead to show that everything has a time span, and time spans are reducing. From months to days, to mere seconds now. The decision making for final deletion choice is a "yes" and a "no" choice to be made in the next few seconds. It is not crumpling up a peice of paper and throing it in the dustbin without a scond thought, because if needed, yuo can reclaim it in the next 20 mins or more.

How fast will we finally go? Will the blink of an eye seem like an eternity.
How is it that with so much compaction in time lines on everything, we have even lesser time to spend on our own? THat we do lesser activities than our grandparents? That we have seen lesser of life than them in so many respects? [I may have travelled more, but have learnt definitely lesser]
Is it that the beauty of the slow system was the time it gave us to assimilate incident-ary, accidental, collateral information? Is it that the human mind can give acute importance only after a certain time span, and with present speed, it may get difficult to always have that level of accuracy where we can work without that time span?
Perhaps. Perhaps that is why we get tired sooner.

Our lives are gettign longer, we are tending to living more, in a 'healthier' way, and with activity time span reducing, the possibiltiy of doing more tings in life apparently increases. However, the rude realities of money and time spent in making it make the possibilty of doing more things in our longer life rather slim.

Makes you think doesnt it? Whats it all for?