So there we lie. We lie there with a million copies of many others like us. We wait to be picked by one of you. Every time a copy of ours leaves the rack, we revel in pride. We wait. In anticipation of the hands that would soon caress us.
At times the hands flip through our insides. At times they just turn us around for a brief few minutes. Some of them place us back in the rack. Some of them choose to carry us along to a counter where we are intricately wrapped before being shipped to a new home and a new owner.
Leaving the rack is not a very pleasant thing. However there are times when we are gifted to people who on unwrapping our intricate packing literally squeal in orgasmic pleasure.It is at times like this that we are convinced in our self-worth. Times like this tell us that we are more than just a collection of pages with words scribbled on them.
Being in a position like ours is among the best one could ask for. As two hands hold us and peer at us with a pair of inquisitive eyes, we literally bore into the emotions of the person holding us. We derive immense pleasure when the owner scribbles his/her name on the front. It is almost as though we have been granted an identity.
Our covers remain the same. The words remain the same. Yet as we change hands, we sense that each person holding us perceives us and the words embedded in us in different ways. There are times when our owner lends us or rents us to people of a different home. We secretly pray that the new home is as comforting as the old home. We pray that there is no impudent kid lurking in the new home who derives pleasure by mutilating our pages or tearing our covers.
As we bore into the mind of the reader holding us, we often feel the emotions gushing through him/her. Some of them repeatedly read certain parts of us. Often, it could be the description of a really happy family, a detailed character sketch of the protagonist, a happy ending to a tumultuous relationship. When we experience this repeatedly, we convince ourselves that perhaps the reader is someone who has been vying for something of this sort. We feel the pain of the reader just like we felt the pain of the writer who penned these words in us.
We create a world with mere papyrus. A world that changes with every pair of eyes that gaze at us and perceive us differently. It is unique maybe. The ability to take on a new form and a new meaning every now and then.
We age. Just like the people who read us also age. It is here that we feel proud. Often we are handed down as memoirs by senior members of the family to the younger ones who are made to promise that they would take good care of us. As we turn brown with age and some of our pages loosely hang, we wait for the owner to treat us with adhesives that would cement us back.
They tell us that some aspiring humans seek to convert us or adapt us into movies. We are not against it. We only wait to see how the person converting us perceives us. Movies may come and go. There are loads of people who don’t even read us. They prefer the excitement of a movie adapted from us. It saddens us. But we live on. For we know that someday, these people would come back to read us and perceive us in a way that they deem fit.
Perhaps this is why the art of reading or writing is underrated. For it is an art that creates a world. A world that doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind of the one who wrote us. A world that may or may not be replicated in the minds of the ones who read us.
We live on. Even if the men who wrote us die. Even as the men who read us die.
For we are words. We are thoughts.Thoughts that were formulated by the best of men in the worst of circumstances.Thoughts that struck the mind of some genius as he sat by the midnight lamp under the labor of human existence.
We are immortal. Even if we change our forms and meanings every now and then.
We are books.