Nikos Kazantzakis , Book worm, Me…

3 Feb

” I struggled  not to see, not to hear, and to hold on a little longer to the vision which was melting away. If only I could live again the moment of that anger which surged up in me when my friend called me a book worm! I recalled then that all my disgust at the life I had been leading was personified in those words. How could I, who loved life so intensely, have let myself be entangled for so long in that balderdash of books and paper blackened with ink! In that day of separation, my friend had helped me to see clearly. I was relieved. As I now knew the name of affliction, I could perhaps conquer it more easily. It was no longer elusive and incorporeal; it had assumed a name and a shape, and it would be easier for me to combat it.

His expression must have made silent progress in me. I sought a pretext for abandoning my papers and flinging myself into life of action. I resented being this miserable creature upon my escutcheon. A month earlier, the desired opportunity had presented itself. I had rented on the coast of Crete, facing Libya, a disused lignite mine, and I was going now to live with simple men, workmen, and peasants, far from the race of bookworms!

I prepared excitedly for my departure, as if this journey had a mysterious significance. I had decided to change my mode of life. ‘ Till now ‘ I had told myself, ‘ you have only seen the shadow, and been well content with it; now, I am going to lead you to the substance.”

― Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

I have just started reading the brilliant book “Zorba the Greek” by Nikos Kazantzakis. For more on book :

The passage struck a chord with my lackadaisical existence. I have a affliction. I am a book worm. It is true that go for a run, play football with kids in my locality, go biking, go to temples and an occasional spiritual retreat, coffee shops once  a week, hang out shops checking watches occasionally. But am a book worm. It’s almost sounds like coming out in open 🙂

My mom hates it., She blames this for all problems in life. I suspect this is true. Books and me have a very self contained life. I lived a stupidly content life. My late father forgave me for books. My sister defends it and likes it. My brother is neutral.

Okay like reading and writing. It took care of my adolescence shyness and created a after world for me to live. I am still shy but have got better with time. It also made me an escapist. I had no material ambitions . I was like a dog. I lived on love and books. By the way my ambition is still to be a dog, loyal and unconditional in love 🙂

Upamanyu chatterjee wrote in ” English August : An Indian story”   🙂  “In his essay,Agastya had said that his real ambition was to be a domesticated male stray dog because they lived the best life.They were assured of food,and because they were stray they didn’t have to guard a house or beg or shake paws or fetch trifles or be clean or anything similarly meaningless to earn their food.They were servile and sycophantic when hungry;once fed,and before sleep,they wagged their tails perfunctorily whenever their hosts passes,as an investment for future meals.A stray dog was free,he slept a lot,barked unexpectedly and only when he wanted to,and got a lot of sex.”

The only difference was me was a clean and a good stray dog who lived for love and books 🙂 people scolded me, but me never felt bad. They have not led my life. No body leads another’s life. Yet we judge? How silly..

Once one of my friends told me in disgust at my lack of knowledge about food and culinary stuff, I laughed and conceded have no knowledge of food apart from basics ( now can drop Chinese morons like Chow mein)  and was most grateful to her from one of my favorite pastimes of playing  ball with a dog in a garden. She had a handsome dog and we would  play with a  ball in garden. I thought it was intense and fun. I would throw ball far and long dog ran ferociously to retrieve it. I overcame my fear of dogs because of her. She left the country.

Enough of dogs. Much as love books. I realized it is only a indulgence. No book changes your life. It doesn’t. Period.

At best it can make you better, give you some perspective, even pleasure, yes in my case helped me to deal with sorrow of beloved father and brother’s illness, otherwise life would have been impossible. I was horribly alone and had no answers. But now want to do other things.

I also liked my work, meeting people and yes writing once in a week 🙂

Ironically picked up Nikos Kazantzakis’s  famous book ” Zorba the Greek” to rediscover passion in life for other things. A book as an answer for a malady of books. How stupid? How me.?

I promise will get better and who knows might become Zorba the greek 🙂

Have a lovely day!  Thank you!


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