A TRAVEL AND A BOOK MAKES A PERPLEXING COMRADE “The Backpackers Group
My backpack always has a book whenever and wherever I travel. A book is so important for a solivagant. Most of my trips didn’t end up with meeting new people, also the long trips in trains and buses long for a talk or a company or a story if not for gossip. At these moments books make a good friend and company.
I love books! I love books so much that I stopped being in touch with a friend who I trusted my book and never returned it back. He never even try to give an apology. Never lend your books to everyone😑. People don’t understand how much you cherish your books. I always find people who read books attractive. Not just the one who reads, but the ones who enjoy and recommend others. A part of society thinks people who read and love to read books are nerds. This is a misconception and it is hard to accept for many who don’t read books. Trust me. People who love to read are the coolest people ever. Even if they are nerds… What is so wrong with it?!
I am always glad my parents nurtured me with the interest of reading books. I have seen people who are so proud that they don’t read books. Thankfully my parents gave me storybooks to read by my 1st grade. We have lots and lots of books in our house and as we grow it became a part of us.
2 years back, I went for a trip to the Northern part of India (Darjeeling, Sikkim & Calcutta). Like always I took my Kindle. I was reading Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of Earth. Trust me that story became an important memory of that trip we had. I never felt bored during my entire train journey because of it. Cause people around me were sleeping during the 3days train journey. But, I was taken into the center of the earth thanks to Verne. That man’s words takes you to any part of the world. You almost believe you are at the center of the Earth.
I love classics more. Many of the contemporary stories revolve around sensual content more these days to last long on the shelf. But, those days didn’t need triggering words. Those books take us through times and places. They are more relevant to the time they are written. They take us to adventures and sometimes unveil the life and gets us into the minds of people. Those were their focus. People told us stories for the sake of sharing for the sake of understanding. Now stories are made not to share but to attract and commercialize. I’m not generalizing. But only 2 in 10 books are exceptionally well written. It’s completely from my experience.
THAT’S THE THING ABOUT BOOKS. THEY LET YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT MOVING YOUR FEET “JUMPA LAHIRI
Now it’s the “Pongal” festival season. For me, the Pongal holiday holds a direct connection to the Chennai Book Fair. It’s like a ritual. Right from my 2nd grade, my parents used to take us to the Chennai Bookfair held during Pongal holidays. We spend thousands on books with the money we saved in the previous year. There are people who laughed at my parents for bringing us up like this and for spending money on books which they should have invested in gold ornaments. I am so thankful, my parents are clear-headed people.
I have grown up to be a better person because of all those books that I have read and what they had taught me. To tell the truth, for me, my books, cartoons, cycling, and my dogs taught me to be a good and responsible person. Only a few people taught me how to be a better human such as my parents and teachers. Apart from that, I have met more negative people. Nevermind.
Even now people who cross my life makes me feel like I do not fit in this timeline. Lots of them just showed me how worse can humans go and do. When we travel a lot, experienced a lot and read a lot we know how to behave, how to respond to a situation and how to use our words. Having control over us is something hard for many of us. We easily give in to other’s words and peer pressure. Many of us find it to be easier to be a demon than an angel. After all, we are humans and we are hereby mimicking our peers. I am just a beginner in this course of controlling myself but, this also has negative impacts too. It becomes hard to fit in the ignorance of the world.
Even when I was bedridden, when I thought I am going to die and not going to go back to being normal. I started to believe in recovery while reading “Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Books can turn you into anything you want and can turn you into anyone you want. So does experiences. Once you have seen how death feels like at a young age, it’s hard for you to get back to the time you weren’t. You think differently, you look differently at world and your preferences change. Not everyone can understand you. Things that used to be important for you is not important to you anymore. Things change a lot. You can’t understand people around you and people around you think you are heavy headed and selfish. But, then when you travel and read stories and novels, you get to know you are not alone. You will find someone just like you, not so close to you but he or she is somewhere far away. But exist.
Reading can’t be as fun as watching a movie to many but it can be the best companion when you travel alone or if you are around a group of unproductive people or if you are left alone. Just like a solivagant needs shoes, she/he also needs a book.
“So, you have Chennai Bookfair happening from February 24th -March 9th, in Nandhanam YMCA. The Fair will be from 11am to 8pm. If you are in and around Chennai. Take your family and friends. Go there visit all the bookstalls, grab all the books that you like without regrets. Even if it’s one book, that’s going to make you a little better than today. Most importantly they will be following Covid-19 Safety protocols so make sure to wear your masks, bring your sanitizers, stay safe and be conscious of your surrounding.
There are lots of mediocre food stalls put up. In 2019 they had Krishna Sweets catering. That was so good. This time I am still not sure, but will update you through my Instagram page.