Stories have always have had great influence on me. I don’t remember a time when I was not fascinated by a protagonist of a tale be it of a book or a movie or even a picture. Even before I could read I was lead into world of stories by my grandmother. I was fortunate to have company of books and so many fascinating characters of books at a very early age. Earliest memories are of Enid Blyton’s fairy tale series and magical world of Hop, Skip and Jump and then it was time for Famous Five series and also Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and other growing year’s classics. Thus began fascinating journey of a book worm. There was this joke doing rounds that I would read any print just like sheep would munch any green grass. I know not why I was hooked on this diet of imaginary fictitious world maybe there can be no reason as to why we all love to slip in to dreaming and imaginary world. Apart from books I was hooked on to movies too. Again movies were a fantasy diet for the brain.
I am not sure how much this imaginary world of fiction and movies influenced my personality. But definitely they did give a direction to my thinking and shaped my character. Even today when I feel stuck with real life existential agonies I pick up a book and escape in to a different world. I lose myself in the bigger landscape. The Universe suddenly expands and I become so insignificant that my worries seem totally absurd. It is a same feeling when I watch a good movie. I often connect with characters of the movies and the existential angst of the characters. So I even though I feel lonely and alone, I am never alone. I have company of Gelsomina of La Strada or protagonists of Kafka and Camus novels or surreal emotions of Marquez or Pablo Neruda.
Yes, often there is conflict between banal real routine life and the fictitious imaginary world. In real life neither existential angst can go to the level of Camus or Kafka nor there is any magical realism. There is not even luxury to think about absurdities, meaning and meaninglessness of life. There is only a kind of disappointment; for the real materialistic world is too corrupt and it is indeed hard to find magic and innocence. At the end of the day it does seem we are trapped in Darwin’s world and are either condemned to be predator or prey. All emotions get reduced to chemical balances and life seems to be mere coincidental atomic miracle. There is a definite conflict between information, knowledge and imagination.
I think it is this conflict which defines life of people who have not yet found a creative expression. I continue to wait for birth of a perfect poem or a tale. Or maybe even I’ll catch a rare picture in my camera lens or maybe I’ll pick up a guitar to sing a new song or sculpt a new form. I envy and thank all artists, writers, poets and creators when I see them projecting my conflict flawlessly and transport me back to the dreaming world. Yes, for me imagination is always a winner.