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The days stretched out in front of us like long shadows of people standing under a morning sun.
On a winter morning, I had boarded a train to Furkating, a small town in Assam.
It was a bleak morning and the sun was a pale yellow, melting into a silver sky.
I noticed that the cover of the book had what seemed like a spider weaving a cobweb and although I wanted to find out the name of the book, the distance between us prevented me.
Books, sometimes in addition to taking us to the worlds within them, carry us deeper into our own lives.
If this is all we are to get from our engagement with imaginative literature, why bother?
I already know what I'm going to find, so spending time with a literary work of any complexity or inventiveness seems pretty stupid.Recently, I was at a cafe waiting for a friend when I noticed a man sitting at the far end of the room, leaning over a wooden table with a book in hand.I didn’t want to seem intrusive, but I couldn’t help observing how the man’s face puckered while he read and a distinct frown spread across his forehead every now and then.We’d lie in our beds and imagine the lives of these characters until the words trailed off, and we, the grandchildren, had our faces buried into the pillows for an hour-long siesta.Whether at bookshops, parks, airports, or even the confines of their homes, I’ve often found people oblivious to the physical environment they are reading in.That experience of being so immersed in the story that it feels like you’re really there: strolling along in a moonlit rose garden with a duke, or taking tea in a lady’s finely appointed drawing room.And if you’re the adventurous type (like me), perhaps you find yourself riding on a cable car in San Francisco, or exploring the canals of Venice in a gondola.The man with the book suddenly sprang up from his seat in one swift motion and called out frantically, ‘That’s me!’ At that moment, all I could think to myself was that it must be one incredible book!A few minutes later, the person behind the coffee counter called out number 8 which included an order of a coffee and sandwich.However, when no one turned up at the counter, the server repeated the announcement a few more times.