From my very childhood, I was so introverted. I loved being on my own. I barely spoke to people unless they spoke first. Also, I never had any ‘so called’ friends. My parents were concerned about me sometimes, but they thought I would open up with people when I’ll grow up. And that happened and I lost trust in people.
I loved reading. Not academic books, but books that were denominated as ‘out books’. The characters of the books were very kind and courageous. I felt like I was entering a whole new world every time I opened a book. Pages after pages, words after words, felt like they were pushing me through other’s perspectives. The divergent experiences of reading different books made me felt like life is beautiful. But one thing that I didn’t know was, reality isn’t always beautiful. I was very happy with the imaginative world that I lived.
When I became a teenger, approximately 13 years old, I met a neighbor who’s just my age. I got to know that she reads in our school, in our class. We became friends. She was very faithful, always got my back. Influenced by her, I opened some social media accounts. I started with Facebook when I was 14 years old. Days went by, I was gradually pushed to a virtual world, far away from my imaginative world. I started meeting more people, both virtually and really. The circle of my acquintances grew more. Then one day, that friend of my left me because I’m ‘uncool.’ I lost trust on people.
Then I realized I have totally stopped reading books. Realizing that, I totally freaked out. I didn’t go to school for a long time, that’s another story. I started feeling bored most of the time, and spent most of the time on social media instead of reading books. One day I deactivated all my accounts. I looked at my old book shelf which was covered with dust. It felt like the old me got lost in dust. There’s always a chance of cleaning off the dust. I mean starting over. I started reading again. After finishing a book, I took another book and a mug of hot coffee, went out of the house and stepped into the grass of our garden. My feet got wet. Then it started to rain. It felt like the sky were showering happy tears. My younger sister came from her school. I asked how her exam was. She gifted me a beautiful smile and said it went well. I smiled back and realized how lucky I am to have a sister like her.
The next day I went to a party on our neighborhood. I was feeling bored because there were none that I know. A girl who seemed to be similar at my age came and asked my name. After a little chit chat I came to know she also loves reading books. It was the beginning of the return of the lost trust.
Once I read something on a newspaper which one of my favorite writers, Muhammed Zafor Iqbal sir said, “When we read a book, we imagine what’s written on it. But when we watch videos or see photos on social media, it apperes readymade in front of our eyes. It destroys our imagination, our power of observation.” The friend who’s on the other side of the screen is better than a friend who is sitting beside us. We can feel their warmth. And by looking at their eyes, we can realize how much they love us.
As Einstain said, “Knowledge is limited, where is imagination embraces the entire world.”
A Brooke Shaden Photography.
(Paperback Stories, 14 December 2016)