Sunday, May 27, 2012

A lesson on fiction

This is an amusing incident which I really want to share.

Few days back, an acquaintance of mine asked me about what all I have read and whats on my reading list... 90% of the books/novels which I named were fiction. This guy asked me if I dont read any "real stuff". Even though I understood his words but then, I pretended to be confused and so just asked him for clarification as in "Whats this new genre called Real Stuff?"... Then he said "Real stuff is non fiction. Dont you read books on knowledge, autobiographies etc". I just did not know how to answer this one:( As I wanted to scream at him but then maintaining my decency I said "Yep, have read a few of them, have read Dev anand's autobiography, wings of fire, The winning way by Harsha Bhogle. These are the ones I love. Tried reading others, but couldnt enjoy them much". I just could'nt get names in this genre beyond the 3 which I mentioned. He gave me a very strange look as if he wanted to say "Oh you are also amongst those dumb people who like fiction". I looked at him and gestured to ask "What?". He then finally spoke his mind out. He said "Dont you think reading fiction is a wastage of time, I mean what do you get to learn from those? Nothing" I was looking at him, giving him an absolute chance to finish. He further added, "You really dont need to put your mind to understand and grasp those dumb stories in fiction! To understand and engrose the real stuff (non fiction), you need brains." I was quiet, listening to this man, who just called me dumb and brainless without declaring it in clear words though! I was just stealing time to give a sensible shape to my thoughts and feelings (of anger offcourse). When he was done, I asked him " Do you watch movies?" He said yes. I further digged, "What kind of movies?" He said, "All sorts but I personally love watching action movies". I got the nerve to press! I smiled and said "You dont watch any real stuff?" Without waiting for him to answer, I continued,"Why do you waste your time in watching something which is just a cooked up story of somebody. You just dont need brains to see and understand them and you just don't learn anything from them. Then why to waste time and energy over them?"

Now, his face turned pale and he was definitely at loss of words. He tried hard to find some answer, but could'nt come up with something smart so he just said "There is a difference between books and movies?. Cutting him in between, I said "Offcourse there is! I am definately not that dumb not to know this huge difference. But there is no difference in my reading a fiction and yours watching a movie! All I meant to say is the way you like watching action movies, I love reading fiction, the common things being, we both pursue our interests without thinking that it might be a wastage of time, without thinking about what are we going to learn from thebook/ movie, without thinking whether its fiction or a true story! I love fiction and that doesnt prove that I am dumb or I do not have brains to understand the stuff in 'real stuff'. Its just that I dont enjoy them much. And so, I have refrained myself to very few books in that category. And also, I just dont believe that you can become Einstein by reading some good knowledgable books. So, I dont force myself to read them. Also, your perception that one do not learn anything from fiction is wrong. You get to learn a lot, a lot from them if you have intentions to do so. They are outcome of beautiful mind and the imagery world of the author. It is very very difficult to give a shape to your thoughts and feelings. You should try once and you will know what I mean to say. Anybody can write about philosophies, about somebody's life. You atleast have a raw story with you around which you just need to knead a web with words to make it interesting. But in fiction, you do not have anything. No story, no base nothing. You have to find a story, fit all the feelings, emotions, thoughts etc in it at right places to make it a beautiful and a lovable story. And plz do not disgrace them by saying that they put in so much effort for a bunch of dumb and brainless readers." That man was silent, without words, just noding his head in agreement! And at the end, I just said "Plz take out that notion from your mind that fiction is not something worthy of giving few hrs to it" And I smiled at him to give him some support to become comfortable again!

Guess I was a bit rude and a bit offensive but sometimes, you really have to give back hard to the conventional  thinking of such orthodox people! I dont know if I was able to change his thinking but I am pretty sure, he will not dare to take out this stupid thinking of his in front of anybody again:)

Keep smiling alwazzzz:)

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