She would see people around her celebrating their love for a book they had been reading, falling in love with it again and again, since years. The numbers swelling every time; 2-3-4-5 years and still counting. Sometimes, these posts were all forgotten over a new collection that had arrived at her disposal; other times, those surging years would make her uncomfortable and compel her to introspect.
When she would see those people walking down the memory lane, remembering their most loved instances, obsessing a little over their favourite characters and events, she too would set herself up for a walk down the old path. She would look at the trail left behind, the seasons gone by and wonder, it was around the same time that she too had started reading, then how is it that these people are still reading the same old book like it was their first time, year after year, and loving it while she had had to start a new book every six months. She would wonder what drove them to love the same story, same chapter, day after day, year after year, while she had had to rediscover her tastes as the seasons changed. She would think it was not fair on her part to not love a book as diligently as they did, given the self proclaimed voracious reader that she was.
Her inquisitive self would look for answers, within the chapters she had read and the words they had meant. She wanted to blame the books for not being good enough to keep her attraction intact. She wanted to blame the authors for not writing a story she could fall in love with, over and over again. She wanted to blame the pages she had touched for not being real enough to hold her grasp. If she had to, she could blame all the pages she had touched, all the characters she had met and all the events she had been to for the lack of love a lover should have shown to its beloved. But, today, she was tired of playing the victim card; tired of trying to escape from the Truth. She didn’t really know the Truth, but she knew it was not to be found outside places other than herself. She didn’t really know where to look for, but she knew the answer was somewhere in the question.
While looking at their posts, it troubled her, her lack of being able to commit to a book and usher undying love over a character like them. After all, everyone has a personal favorite they look up to when the world doesn’t seem alright, when their destination looks a little out of sight. This lack of commitment in her irked her, made her restless. She wanted to put all the blame on the books she had read; she wanted to blame the genres she had picked and get over with the pressure of not being like others. She wanted to prove that it was not her fault; it was not her who was crooked, a little bent. To whom? I don’t know. But she wanted to assert her flawless self to someone, I’m sure, even though she was aware about the futility of her efforts. She was well aware about the Death of the Author. She was aware that the stories she had read were the stories of her own and no amount of dodging can change the fact that she created the demons she now wanted to disown.
How different would the story be if the blame was not on her!
How different would the story be if she could transfer all the blame on the writer’s shoulder!
But the bell had been tolling and she knew she can’t escape anymore.
She, ,now, accepts the blame graciously.
She, now, wants to experience the joy of being committed to a book till the stretch of time.
She, now, wants to make that extra effort to stick through the essence when the book ends.
She, now, wants to discover a new self.
Though, if you meet her today and ask her what the blame was about, what the pain was about, she’ll have no answer for you but an unresolved deep sigh.
Even if she was a victim, she didn’t want to play the victim anymore.
Featured Image: Annunciation after Titian by Gerhard Richter