The Eternal Mockingbird

Have you ever thought of how sugar behaves in water? It completely dissolves in it till it leaves no trace, and yet, when it meets the buds, the sweet taste delights. Some books uplift you in a similar way. Once you revisit them, they seem to have left you, but when perceptions of the mind meet, that sweet taste is unmistakable.

To call “To Kill a Mockingbird” a gem of literature is nothing short of blasphemy. To look at it objectively is a sin in itself. It is so much more than that. It is a part of your life. It is magic. It is the sweetness in the seemingly clear water. It is an enchanting amalgamation of words and feelings and sighs and whispers. You can feel the book working up an aura, a subtle atmosphere, which holds your hand gently and guides you through the alley that is Scout’s world. Scout, who endears you with her purity and sweet knowing ignorance, who lets you see the world in an unbiased light. Atticus, who lets you know the actualities of the world in the most gentle way possible. The fact that an issue can be held in its own in this complex web of human emotions and vistas is nothing short of a miracle. A miracle which dazzles with its simplicity. With its innocence. With its chastity.

A mere mortal is not capable of stringing words to produce immortality. It takes not just will-power but also an astonishing grasp over mortal sentiments and instincts. One cannot create a character without stepping into his/her shoes and to do that, the character has to be indicted into the apparent reality. This character feels reality, the author makes it tangible to him/her. Harper Lee is the sorcerer here. The palpable touch of existence all characters exude is the work of her sheer brilliance and vision. Those words spellbind you, let you step in between the pages and roam the streets of Maycomb. The mockingbird lives on, not because it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, but because it can never die. :’)

“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead.”

The Sorcerer’s Ink

“All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes — characters even — caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.”
― Diane SetterfieldThe Thirteenth Tale

Have you heard of this mysterious art called magic? You probably have. But, have you felt it, smelt it, let it run down your spine, experienced the power? Maybe. Maybe not. There is one thing in my life which has thrown me down into magical boulevards and psychedelic alleys whenever I wanted to be transported to another reality, another dimension. Reading. It is intoxicating. You can touch a piece of the soul of a totally different personality sitting hundreds of miles away from you, between the pages of his/her work.

Imagine falling through an endless abyss, droplets of cool water hitting your raw face, touching your inner being, as you keep falling and end up in an unknown strange fabric, into the mind of a story, a life. Feel the rustle of those rough, textured pages, the cocktail of smells, smells of a hundred different lives and a hundred different smiles and a hundred different tragedies…

I always wonder about this: Does the author, after going beyond into the other world, still smile, as an enlightenment, a speck of wonder, passes the reader’s face? Whenever a book is opened, a light cracks through the stubborn wall of lagging imagination and low hopes. This light guides one to a higher self, quite effortlessly. You can almost hold the author’s hand and let him guide you through another realm of possibility, of expectation, of understanding, of magic.

The whisper of a couple of hundred pages lasts with you for a lifetime and beyond. It immortalizes hundreds of souls at once. It leaves you with a complacency so lasting that even death cannot sever the bond. The nostalgia of that mesmerizing web of elegant words and tantalizing expressions is incomparable, inexplicable. It stays with you. Always.

As has been beautifully put:

“Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved.”

Diane SetterfieldThe Thirteenth Tale