Living another life for a while
This post has two pieces. First — a personal account of how I started exploring literature. Second — an opinion of how writing is superior to other forms of story telling like movies.
Writing — this is something I loved for some reason, I don't remember since when. Probably it's because of my Telugu language teacher, who was an aspiring-writer then. He used to describe about the writers of the lessons and poems of the Language with such a joy and enthusiasm. Most of the stories were morals fit into beautiful poetry or prose. He used to explain them as if he had seen the stories for real. While most other language teachers had little clue about the writers of those literature, he used to tell about them as if he knew them personally. He introduced me to the idea of literature.
While this is one reason, one more important reason is the effect of Indian History that used to be taught in every year in the school. While there are seldom any good history teachers who could explain with a genuine passion about the freedom struggle, my grandpa used to instill me and my brother with a feeling of being proud Indian. He used to make us recite the Jana Gana Mana when he was in good health. And there used to be really big photo-frames of freedom-fighters at our home in the 90s. Most of other houses used to have pictures of gods, but our home...our home had Netaji, Gandhi and Nehru. So all of this really grew my interest in History.
Literature is an important part in freedom struggle or I believe in any other revolution. So that's one more reason how my interest grew in literature and writing.
One more really major reason is my uncle, who used to read many books on Hinduism, Spirituality, Vivekananda & Aurobindo's Life Divine. He himself is big poet. I remember adding a line to rhyme to his poem when I was around 11 years old. I was very excited that I could make a metaphorical rhyme. I write very occasionally, but now I started more frequently.
All of above is an account of how I got interested in literature. Now let me write...or try to...what makes novels, stories, writings a powerful art in my opinion.
A very fundamental element of Life is 'Being able to experience the present' — The Experience. If one tries to recollect the experience of a joyful memory, what comes to his/her mind is a mental note of the incident with some visuals. Unless we try hard to describe ourselves everything that we felt, we won't experience it, we would only recollect it. For example if you have a vivid memory of a rain from your childhood, and you try to recollect it, you won't feel much. But if you start describing the scenery with a great detail of each dimension...visual, sensual, sound, smell & touch you can relieve the experience. If you recollect how you and your family members were sitting inside home, each telling stories and incidents to one another in the darkness of night with electricity cut off because of rain, without paying much attention to echoes of the clouds and harsh breezing sounds of rain and air, with the fresh scent of rain hitting the ground...you can probably relieve it for a while. I always used to wonder why the writers explain a character appearance with so many details. Now I think I understand...it lets you know the character for real.
A good piece of writing makes you live in the story, observe characters as if you knew them in person. It lets you go to places that you would probably never go to, laugh to jokes, taste the feasts and the whine, listen to the melodies of music, cry to the sadness of the persons you came to know, live on top of a hill, sail in ocean, fly like bird experiencing the winds that have never touched...help a human unconditionally, become a child, a young man, make love to the most beautiful woman that you loved all your life.
You will live a different life for a while.
Movie is also a medium to tell a story, but it doesn't let us experience and live in the story...it instead rushes with the story. In a written story however, you have time to think about the world the writer has to take you, just as in real life. I think this is the reason why writing will be celebrated forever.