Wednesday, November 26, 2003

You can't go home again

Weekend, and I start showing the
familiar signs of withdrawl symptoms.
I am edgy, highly strung-up,
hands are twitching, and I know that
I will not last longer
in my present state of abstinence.
I must have it.

Immediately after work,
I rush to the comfort of the
book-shop.
My nerves are calmed, and my
hands are steadied by the sight of all the
racks of enticing books waiting to
be caressed by my hands
and loved by my mind.
I knew I had to buy one book,
to spend my weekend with.

I had waited for long,
for this moment.

After a long debate among
the various goodies available,
I nervously pick up Catcher in the Rye.

As a policy I don’t like to
re-read, but somehow, I felt I must
read this classic again.

So spent the weekend reading the
book at one stretch.
And in the end, felt hollow,
hurt, cheated, disappointed.

Years ago, I had bought the book
for a couple of bucks from a roadside
second hand book stall.
And had gone crazy over it.
Holden Caulfield felt so real and everyone
else seemed phony. I cried when I
read of his unrequited love for Jane.
He became my hero, and I imitated
him to the bit of even flunking a term.
J.D. Salinger became my idol.

But today, I’m older and cynical.
I find the book so amateurish, so
immature. And sadly, it is Holden Caulfield
who seems so phony. I fail to understand
what was in this book that had attracted me,
and made me swear my life by it .

What did I see then, that I don’t
see now?

J.D. Salinger doesn’t hold
me in awe anymore. But for his
single masterpiece Franny,
I don’t even think of him.

I realize that books that we once loved when
we were young, are like our long
lost heart throbs.
At best, they are great experiences, freeze shots
of some phase in our life. To be
preserved in memories.

But never, to be re met or re read.

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