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By Pooja Marwah

In a world where everything has a substitute, how far can you go without giving in to the urge of following the changing trends?

For most of us born in the 20th century, reading content helped induce creativity and ingrained an imaginary world of our own. So often was I lost in the same forest as Alice in Wonderland! So many a times I found myself wondering about the hasty judgements we make in life, just like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Life revolved around the climaxes that Dan Brown, Agatha Christie, Harlen Coben spun around.

Reading, as a habit, helped us steer clear of meaningless frivolity and tainted gossip. It gave rise to conversations about stories that changed perceptions, it introduced various countries and themes in a manner that we would remember for life; it opened up a world beyond the dots we saw on a map. It gave the comfort of words, when words said to us hurt.

Growth is when you comfortably allow for change to tide over. But there is no reason to reinvent the wheel, is there? There is a reason why an ICSE school has the same curriculum, or Shakespeare is introduced to teach a child about literature. There is a need to keep ourselves connected with the written word for as long as be. For it is only in these words that we truly learn the qualities of empathy, of interest and of culture.

I am all for change, but for some things, the age old trick works best; with the increasing capsule content that social media encourages, it isn’t too far a day when you yourself will lose the bandwidth to listen.  There is always a mystery, an intrigue that takes shape as you read or listen to a story and in no way can that intrigue compare to a few words said or displayed on an Instagram feed.

Stories aren’t boring. They are tales that come with experience and are said with enthusiasm to tell you about a particular inciting incident that hooks you. It takes you to the world of the protagonist and whilst you are immersed in her or his journey, you temporarily find yourself an integral part of their choices, dilemmas or even perhaps journey. The way you view your own life changes dimensions with each story that you voraciously read or hear.

So, how on earth can an encapsulated, few seconds of content bring to you the same level of fascination, of compassion and of empathy? How can you equate a story of a hundred pages in two lines? Besides the fact that it won’t do any justice to you as a reader, it also won’t transport you to any other world!

I may be old school here, but with the waning interest that our younger generation has, it seems almost impossible to expect them to understand the in-depth meaning of a simple word called – Love.

There is a reason why everything around us seems so fragmented, and instead of putting them together, we are beginning to prefer dealing with them at an over the top superfluous level.

The connection that chapters bring to each other is the kind of connect you need in relationships today. And the only way to achieve that attachment is if you let yourself get lost in the world of words.

(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes on contemporary living and offers incisive reflections on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myriad struggles we face each day.)