Thursday, January 31

the power of a book

on the train Middle-of-Nowhere, India

I once dated this guy who loved books and loved to read. Despite all of our issues, one of my favorite things about our relationship was that we could go to a book store and spend an hour or so, perusing aisles, making suggestions for each other to read and separately getting lost in the first chapter or so of a new book. Though that relationship failed quite miserably, I think back on those little moments and they make me happy. (Disclaimer: This is me trying to look at the positive. Am I growing up?)

Yesterday, I went to a book store and bought two new books, one of them being Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, a novel I've been told about several times but always forget to buy. The book takes place in India so I couldn't help but reflect on my own Indian adventure as I began to read.

While in India (fun fact: where this blog began), I wrote with such ease and as I read just the first page of Shantaram, Roberts' words came to life and I started to cry. There's something about India that I can't help but love like I've never loved anything before. The colors, the smells, the people, the food and basically every aspect of Indian life moves me in a way that nothing else does.

The aforementioned ex had traveled to India as well and that was one of the reasons we started dating: a shared passion for a country that many fear. Though that relationship was put to rest long ago, it's amazing how an activity as simple as going to a bookstore can bring back a flood of memories of both a person and the most life-changing experience of my life thus far.

{Does this ever happen to you?}


Kirsten said...

I agree and can empathize with so much in this post.

First, reading about a place I truly love, that is part of my DNA, is exhilarating. My own memories of where I am reading come back, and it is almost as though I am there.

The same can be said of people. When I am in a place that holds memories with someone else, it's like I am transported back, but am still standing there by myself. Even if things did not end well with that particular person, whether friend or more than friend, I hold fond memories (or...not so fond ;) ).

Loved reading this post! I would like to visit India someday and experience the people, smells, views, and life.


Annalisa Minetto said...

I'm reading Shantaram too nug! It's so so so good. I think of you whenever I pick it up!

SarahLagen said...

I love this post-- and yes, I know exactly what feeling you are talking about! I get that feeling when I'm at Whole Foods... I'm still dating my guy but every time I go in there alone I get a huge grin and let those pleasant memories flood my mind!

Your blog is great, I love it!

Robyn said...

great that you can think about the good bits.

i love reading and exploring book shops...

but-(sorry) i hated Shantaram-I thought it was a train wreck from the start...

Allie said...

I associate pretty much every single one of my memories with a smell. So the smell of the ocean reminds me of one place and even the smell of a book reminds me of something completely different. They just evoke such intense emotions!

Jennifer said...

Sometimes I feel like my memory is a little to strong for my liking. When my ex and I broke up, I joked that he "stole" pizza and country music from me, since those things reminded me of him. I had to reclaim a lot of silly places and things that were connected to him.

It's great that you're able to look at the positive aspect of a relationship that had its crappy parts. That's encouraging :) I'm still in the bitter stage... ;)

Anyway, I love your blog and am so happy I found it!


Z said...

I completely understand the feeling - I studied abroad this past semester in Europe and have so many strange shared experiences with one person in particular...he and I attempted some sort of relationship over there than went sour really quickly but some of our best memories are from that time and being together in such a strange place.

Alli said...

oh books. I wouldn't even know where to start. I totally understand what you're saying though, when you open a book you just never know how it will make you feel and where it will take you.

Anna Elizabeth {Photographs and Memories} said...

Shantaram is an amazing story- you're going to love it. I want to travel to India more than anything in the world. And i love your positivity when reflecting back on your relationships- so mature :) And i love that you love reading. I'm in the market for a new good book- any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!!