Faraway, in another time, was a place called Childhood.
A magical place it was for sure… with twisting trees and rising roads… toad-stool seats and round fairy doors… built between stacks of books. Little men and women lived there, burrowing between pages, where anything could happen anytime. It all depended on which book one chose to open. Dragons breathing on some days, elephants flying the next!
Then one day, the little girl bumped into a shiny new book. The cover was a bright red, and its name was embossed in gold… Gulliver’s Travels. She loved the name. She loved to travel, especially during her summer holidays. It didn’t matter if she was sitting in the back of their green car, or sailing bravely to places that existed only in books.
She traveled with Gulliver to Lilliput and then to Brobdingnag! The words were so fantastical that she felt the tug on her hair, when each strand on Gulliver’s head was fastened strongly to the ground, feeling helpless when he could not move his hands or legs. And in Brobdingnag, she was filled with dread when the eagle flew away with the box, with her and Gulliver still inside.
Of all the books she read that summer, she chose to keep Gulliver’s Travels in the Forever Shelf in her mind, flipping through the pages now and then as the years passed by.
They say, time takes away everything… and so it took away that place called Childhood.
The little girl now lived in a world called Real Life. Navigating its alleys and lanes was fun and exciting at first, but soon she realized that people in Real Life were not very different from the Lilliputians, who lived inside the pages of that Red Book in the Forever Shelf. And with every passing day, she felt more and more helpless, straitjacketed into the inane rules set up by the small humans filled with pretensions and self-importance in Real Life. And although they were not like Lilliputians to look at, these perfectly normal-looking Real Lifers were just as small on the inside, consumed by greed and jealousy and moral ineptitude.
She grew tired of Real Life, wishing for an escape to somewhere better. ‘There has to be Some Place where people are without malice… where people will recognize and appreciate my knowledge and skills.’ She thought time and again. Slowly, her contempt for the Real Lifers grew. She felt she was better than most everyone around. The bumptiousness grew and grew, until one day, Gulliver took her to Brobdingnag, into the dark recesses deep inside her own mind. There, the mirror could only reflect her feet of clay.
Seeing her own ordinariness made her feel like she was sinking. She struggled with the storm in her mind… Fighting off the world around her… trying to escape the predictability of her ordinary life. But there was no Some Place. So she built a Maze.
The Maze was a beautiful place too… not as beautiful as that faraway place called Childhood. But here she could burrow even deeper into the fantastical words and mind-boggling worlds that could not really exist… or could they?
Lost between pages
A silent summer of peace
The best place on Earth
This post is a part of the #BlogchatterA2Z2022.