How reading and crying on a bus made me appreciate the strength of emotions truly felt.
Reading on a bus is an activity enjoyed by many people. It is like living in two worlds at the same time- looking down and enjoying the story and its characters, and then looking up to see the cars pass by, small children arguing, young kids involved in constant chatter, and the bus driver swerving through the never-ending traffic.
Reading in the bus has been an all-time favorite habit of mine. Many memories have been made because of this simple habit, but there is one that stands out the most, one that I remember the best, and I have to confess, I was quite embarrassed by it at the time it happened.
Many of you may have heard of Jeffrey Archer, well-known for his best-selling novel, Kane and Abel. But that wasn’t the one I read first; it was Sons of Fortune, with a story quite similar to Kane and Abel. Without giving out any spoilers to those of you who haven’t read it yet (you do not know what you’re missing out on), there comes a part in the story, so unexpected and astonishing to the reader’s mind, that one cannot help but pause for some time (more like go into mental shock) and re-read the entire part again, just to understand how such a thing could have happened, and more so, why? And even after reading it for the umpteenth time, you still don’t understand what went wrong where, that is when the tears start coming. Slowly, and then all of a sudden, it feels like someone turned on the tap and the tears were just flowing uncontrollably. When this happened, I wanted to stop crying, after all, it was just a story. But the tears were linked to an eternal supply of saltwater, and nothing I did would make them stop. I covered my face with one hand and turned towards the window, and then continued with my crying.
I cherish this memory because to me, it is simply amazing how one memory of reading in a bus, crying on a bus because of this particular reading, then hiding my face because of that crying, and then the deep realization that came with all of this; it’s amazing how all this has stayed with me for so long. This was the first time I cried while reading a novel, and needless to say, the abundance of tragic scenes in countless novels have been using up my supply of saltwater ever since – most notably Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Prodigal Daughter (another masterpiece by Jeffrey Archer; also comes with another sob-uncontrollably-and-hide-your-face chapter).
What’s the purpose of sharing this, you ask. It is so that people begin appreciating the effort that goes into writing a novel; from the beginning to the end, everything that an author puts into his writing so that his readers can feel what he wants them to. To make people appreciate those readers that dwell in them, those who feel emotions at a deeper level, because if they cry more, then they also laugh more. And lastly, reading this article should make you want to go read that book (NOW!).
A world without books is a world without imagination, and I simply cannot imagine it.
Written by ZMB.
This article was the winning article of our article writing competition which we hosted last month with the theme: memories.