27 July 2012

On Reading...

There was a time when I read books fast and forgot all about them even faster (even the great ones, no fault of the books themselves; solely mine). Then I started writing about the books I read, and it got a little better - some things stayed at least. Of late, I read books very slowly and often come to a halt when I encounter a line or two that make me think. I don't really proceed with the rest of the book for a while after that. I am stuck at that line, till it becomes too familiar to ponder over. I guess that's a better reading style than before. Very Zen-like, if you will!
One such instance happened recently with 'Doctors' by Erich Segal, a book I started reading simply because a cousin dropped it in my bag and I wanted to get it back to him quickly (without adding to the mountain of unread books lying in my room). Early in the book, one of the characters reads out a few lines by Ben Johnson (a contemporary of Shakespeare apparently and is the only person to be buried vertically in Westminster Abbey!!!) - though the context in the story is the death of a young child, the last line etched itself in my head as the most positive thing I have read in recent times.It goes...

"In short measures, life may perfect be."

You may not believe it, but I have now become so aware of those short measures, and therefore so much more grateful for my life as it is. I would have never ever appreciated the transitory moments of perfection or beauty or just a peaceful state of mind, if it weren't for this reading experience. Well, it may not last forever, this wisdom... but hey, didn't we just learn about short measures? enjoying it while it lasts :-)

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