Life, Lime & Literature | My Thoughts

Armed with a cup of hot herbal tea, touched up with some cream, and some 50-50 Britannia biscuits, I reached my workspace as a new topic brewed in my mind.

Let’s start with the middle word ‘Lime.’ The word ‘Lime’ originated from Trinidadian linguistic usage. The word meant to engage in socializing or hanging out in an informal setting with friends. I often love to hang out with literature. Sometimes the three words are almost synonymous in my mind.

Stories are a great way to get fascinated with life and living life itself. You must have come across days when it is perfect from the beginning to its end. One such day is today! When I explored two interesting stories featuring two different aspects of life. Somehow, both were about being successful in life.

The movie made me look at my life’s success in a new way. Rewiring the concept of what success truly means in human life has led to creating a deep connection with my core values. Core values such as fairness, truthfulness, honest perseverance and hard work form the basis of my life’s ethics.

Following these values is never easy. It takes most of the human strength to get it right. The only way these values become part of our life is by hard choice making. There are moments of choice in our life when the road ahead splits into two paths. One path is of truth and other of falsehood. The choice of the path of truth or the path of falsehood is a subjective individual’s choice.

Life is a myriad of different physical, emotional and intellectual experiences that human mind records as neural impulses in the brain. These memories then become the factors that bring together an understanding of the past, the present, and the future.

The power to learn from emotional experiences is uniquely a human blessing. The collection of surrogate experiences gained through intellectual activity such as reading and narrated stories provides a lot of personal understanding. Literature then does the job of setting up a fictional situation and where the hero makes a choice that is supported by the readers and society at large.

So, I feel that life is influenced by literature and literature by life. This speaks for the fact that liming our life with literature makes us a better person in the long run. It was a long time ago; I believe I was in my first year of Bachelor of Arts in English Literature when I chanced upon “Orlando” by Virginia Woolf.

The biography was an eye-opener for me. For a moment, in the beginning, and mid-way, it was disorienting for me, but then there was an intrinsic truth in it that I found endearing to read about. My three years in Meenakshi College gave me space to explore British and American literature, while the Indian literature was docile except for the two novels that were morose true facts of British rule.

I don’t regret having chosen English literature. But of late, my desire is to explore world literature. At the same time, I wish to connect with my roots by reading up more on ancient Sanskrit literature. Somehow, I know that I resonate with the deep sound of the Sanskrit language.  

I wished for and completed the English Literature course because I loved it the most and had to put very little effort. By the time, I was in my Tenth standard I had a close acquaintance with Shakespearean sonnets from my uncle’s collection of classic books. I connect to literature from various points of view and love to see various points of view which I haven’t tried before.

The fact is that I gain from the surrogate experiences a world of knowledge. The outcome of such diverse readings leads to open-mindedness and understanding of humanity. The reader moves and widen his small social circle to a much wider circle of cosmopolitan existence.

Gone are the days when I knew the person who was my neighbor to be the extent of my interaction or the ‘Agraharam days.’ The current need of the work-life and the balance has moved on from merely knowing your immediate neighbor. It is no longer enough anymore. Our neighbors could be from anywhere in the world as real-time Web connectivity is slowly breaking down barriers such as their time, their place and their privacy.

Then, it becomes important that we figure out the importance of literature to understand an entire community and its angle towards life, recreation and core values. The extolled heroes, thwarted villains, and the situation of great success or of great defeat become our main source for what is understood as exemplary conduct for the virtuous.

I am truly trying to read up on literature from various parts of the world in English translation. Sadly, when translated the stories may not come out correct linguistically, since the joy of the source language is sometimes very hard to record in the translation of the destination language. Yet the writing of the leading writers is best seen in the works of literature they created which their readers relived intellectually.

So, I feel that Life, Lime, and Literature are single file words with remarkable replicability with each other. The best of open-minded person is one who reads up books from all over the world. The various words that one learns in the various cultures that are different from each other is a treasure worth in golds.You might find something that is an offense in one is extolled in another. I want to try out some of the works of Chinese writers, Middle East, Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia, et al. The joy of reading multiple options for the word Ice in countries that have snowfall regularly or whose winter and summer is the difference in snow types.