“To Travel Without Moving an Inch”
Books are a doorway into world of new and powerful ideas. It presents a view unlike any other. Reading, to quote Ashoke’s grandfather (in The Namesake) is “to travel without moving an inch.” (Lahiri 39)
Books become central to Ashoke’s life in the novel. It becomes his escape, his relief from the troubles around him, his lifesaver. During and after the train crash that becomes a pivotal moment in his life, Ashoke strongly believes that the fact he was reading when the crash occurs saved his life. He believes that while reading, he is removed from the real world and is thrust into a new world woven by the words of the author. He believes that this is what ultimately saves his life.
Like Ashoke, I feel connected to books in a way that is completely indescribable. Books have become a wonderful to escape the stress and turmoil of everyday life. They show you new places, new ideas, new cultures. They present a whole new host of ideas and thoughts, it’s impossible not to want to fall into. It’s a back door that allows you to escape into a new world, a world completely separate and at times unpredictable. It provides an acute sense of relief and suspense, happiness and sadness, admiration and contempt. It’s these combined emotional responses that give a rush of excitement and joy.
When reading, everything else becomes secondary, no longer important. All problems and stress put on hold. It’s an escape hatch that opens up a world of possibilities.