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... of Pearls & Palaces India
The Novel is Alive and Kicking
May 02, 2007 01:01 AM 7945 Views
(Updated May 02, 2007 01:17 AM)

I know I’ve said it before on MouthShut it’s good to dream, and we all must dare to dream.  Dreams are the tiny building blocks which we use to build and reach our life’s most important emotional goals.  You didn’t get the point, eh?  Well, I suggest you take a break, because, if I tried explaining my rather obtuse observations I may end up becoming an emotional wreck… and so will you.  But, like I said, one must dare to dream.

Yesterday, I had a dream!  Of course, when close to 150 members trust me; I must practice what I preach.  Normally, I don’t go telling everyone what I saw(rather did) in my dreams, because, my dreams normally have the ‘stuff’ that dreams are made of.  This particular dream turned out to be a nightmare and so I can safely pass it on to you fellow sufferers and, thereby, lighten my own burden.

The Voice in the Dark:

“Dream, ” said a voice to me in the dark.  It sounded as though it came from infinity.  “You can dream your life, and can live your dreams too, ” it said emphatically.  “You can make constructive things happen through your dreams and wake up feeling good about it.  Any dream which ultimately ends in good will help boost your confidence and faith in your abilities.”  There was a strange sound akin to snoring as the voice faded away into the fourth dimension… or was it the fifth?

It was a dark night… no, let me recollect… the street lights were switched off, but the Moonlight was still ‘switched’ on.  No one had arms really long enough to reach the Moon, and even if they did, they would have had a tough time searching for the damn switch, and who knows the switch might be located some ninety-three million miles away.  Anyway, it wasn’t that dark after all.  I could clearly see the road leading to the graveyard, as my eyes struggled to adjust to the ambient light I could make out the silhouettes of a group of people bending over something and engaged in what looked like animated discussion.  I was naturally drawn towards this motley group of people.  There was something sinister about them that my love for the ‘sinister’ couldn’t resist.

There were about 3 dozen people in dark flowing robes with hoods drawn close to there faces so I couldn’t make out who they were.  But, it was obvious they had an agenda for being there and do whatever they were doing.  As I moved closer I could hear chants and the death rattle.  They started off slowly, almost like a whisper and then reached an earth shattering crescendo.  It was eerie, and funny in a morbid way, because none of the other people on the streets seem to hear it or take notice of it.

Now, I had come close enough to hear what they were chanting without giving myself away.  The words floated into my ears crisp and clear and no sooner I could decipher them than my blood began to curdle and set like Amul’s Yoghurt.  Ostensibly, the leader of the group pushed back the black hood covering his head to reveal a face that I can never forget in my life.  It was VS Naipaul, the Nobel laureate and he, along with his cronies, was chanting with glee… ‘The novel is dead, the novel is dead; the writers are bled, the readers have fled; let it be heard, let it be said; the novel is dead, the novel is dead…’

I could feel tiny drops of cold sweat forming on my forehead.  Though, it was a warm night I suddenly began to feel dank and cold.  My mind was grappling with a thousand silent questions… how could this happen… how can fiction die… there were so many good writers of fiction… what happened to them… did they really bleed to death… did the people who loved reading fiction actually run away?  My head was reeling from the countless questions for which there seemed to be no answers.

Enemies of Fiction:

Since, the dawn of history, Non fiction and fiction have been at logger heads with each other.  Where non fiction built its edifice on solid facts, fiction was more creative and relied heavily on imagination.  The non fiction writers had their feet firmly planted on solid ground, whereas the advocates of fiction had their attention drawn more to abstract ideas, imagined situations, and manufactured plots, none of which existed in the real world.

The enemies of fiction claimed that it would die a natural death and they would act in every possible way to ensure that fiction was ‘forced’ to die a natural death very much like the Pakistan Coach, Bob Woolmer.  Like Woolmer, the white untitled book in the hands of the enemies of fiction was not yet dead but completely demobilized.  It was just a matter of precious moments before the inevitable would happen, an imminent death.  But there was a possibility, a very slim possibility at that, if all the lovers of fiction who so cowardly made themselves scarce could join together in fighting the enemy they might succeed to ward off this inglorious attack by the enemy of fiction.  But, this wish was too farfetched.

It’s surprising how things move fast in a dream(or nightmare), how vast distances are covered in just a fraction of a second, how time stands still waiting for the event to happen, how the subconscious will of the dreamer manifests itself in the dream to steer it to a more acceptable or plausible ending.  That is the infinite power of the brain which can do real multitasking, creating the enemy as well as the saviour as if it was playing both the white as well as the black pieces in a game of chess in which it acts as the ‘player’ the‘opponent’ and also the ‘referee.’

Back to the dream… as my groggy mind began to assimilate what was about to happen to my favourite novels, a silent scream of help escaped my lips in all directions.  The seemingly still wind then caught it in an invisible wisp and transported in a flash to the remotest corners of the world.  No sooner than my scream subsided, I could sense a dull whirring noise as though it belonged to a storm or a typhoon.  Within moments the noise became unbearable for my ears, and it was also then that the enemies of fiction who were so engrossed in their own noisy mumbo jumbo rituals noticed that something was not right.

Before, anyone could move, a brilliant flash followed by a sonic boom heralded the entry of heroes from successful fictional stories.  The first of the hero to appear before my sleepy eyes was Harry Potter with his wand raised high as if he was casting a spell.  There were other fictional heroes appearing now, James Bond with his golden gun in his hand, Tarzan with an army of apes, lions, elephants, and all the other denizens of the jungle ready to pounce on their enemy.

Old habits die hard. please read the rest in the Comments Section.

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