I went to the movies yesterday to watch Tamasha (if you’re curious, see here). Since I’m generally not a fan of Bollywood movies, I walked in as a skeptic. However, it did one thing exceptionally well – highlighting the art of storytelling. Fiction plays an important role in the main character’s life, which got me thinking about how influential it is in mine.
I sometimes envy the people who never read or dream. They live in the real world at all times, whereas I visit my favourite fictional places often in my head and am left to deal with the fact that I’ll never be able to see them with my own two eyes. I go through all the pain and joy that the characters feel. When I escape into an imaginary world, the demons of my routine life cease to bother me. The cold splash of reality after turning the last page is unnerving. I ruminate on the contents of every novel I read and every movie or show I watch, fishing for ideas and thinking about the new things I have learnt from it. The hours I put into that may have been better spent studying the material taught in class that day.
Yet I would never give up the chance to read or watch a work of fiction for all the wealth and happiness in the world. I have had the opportunity to experience several lives through the viewpoint of several narrators. I have been privy to the best and worst of human thoughts because of the words written by minds vastly different than mine. I’ve stayed all these years in one city, yet come to love so many others depicted in fiction as much as my hometown. I understand human behaviour, despite not being a student of psychology, through stories. They have instilled hope in me with their happy endings when I seem to lose my inner strength. They have taken me on adventures that my ordinary life could never have placed in my path. They have broadened my thinking and helped me get over prejudices that my upbringing had imposed on me. They have inspired me so much that I often try to pen down some of my own.
In the grand scheme of things, I’m just one little pawn and there is only so much I can do with the limited skills and resources at my disposal. It is through fiction that I become so much more. I feel liberated and limitless. I turn into someone else for the brief time that I get involved in a story. That is the true power of fiction – to take the commonplace and transform it into the extraordinary.
You may or may not feel the same as I do, but I would love to know your opinion, which you can leave as a comment below.