Far from the madding crowd
Posted on October 15th, 2018

Laksiri Warnakula

Finally I put the book back, where it had been lying for so many years, before I decided to break its decades-long hibernation, few days ago.

While at it, I gave a good dedusting to the rest of the books too that were covered in a thin film of dust, of starry origin, I mused on as my damp rag ran delicately over the tops and the bottoms of those little paper treasures, guarding what lie between them, the delightfully varying forms of human thought wonderfully captured and kept in firm form, letting the others get to know the original thinker better and even peep into the depths of his/her soul.

Now as my hands slowly but inexorably went over the interior of the cupboard, the motions carried my mind away and into a solemn mood, which was almost meditative and I began to think about dust, once again.

Yes. ‘From dust we came and to dust to we shall return’.

However, at the time, I was giving more thought to its physicality and its sheer perseverance and persistence that the darn thing somehow always manages to get in.

Finally Thomas Hardy or rather a collection of his creative ruminations, now in readable and tangible format, nicely settled back in where it was before and once again cosily snuggled amongst the rest of its family and friends, I closed the door of the cupboard, stepped back and sat down, and began to dwell on this particular book of TH.

I read Hardy’s ‘Far from the madding crowd’ for the first time, many moons ago meaning that I was quite young then and romance, irrespective of the size of the dose and the type was always welcome with warmth and embraced with emotion.

At the time I thought it was good, though once again it was somewhat typical of Hardy’s portraiture of dark side of life, I even felt elated that Bathsheba finally got married and lived happily ever after (hoped so!), in spite of a calamitous span of life that preceded her marriage to Gabriel.

Now in between, I must have re-read it a couples of times, and each time, I found it less and less enlivening and more and more boring. Perhaps it’s no wonder. Since, I have seen many full moons.

And I wonder whether my sense and taste to appreciate literature have become blander and blunter. Or could this be an inherent quality associated with the passage of time? Father Time is a mysterious creature.

And despite the fact that the Mother Nature always follows the laws of decay to the letter, I dare to declare that this particular instance concerning myself here certainly cannot be one of her seemingly perverted travesties of justice, which is how they are generally perceived by many of us, even though they are not by any means.

On the other hand, the trials and the tribulations, the travails and the troubles of life can be spectacularly multi-coloured and multi-faceted, whilst taking you through calm waters of green and blue, farewell sunsets of doom and gloom dressed in yellows, angry fiery lances and swords of flaming red trying to strike you down (not necessarily in that order though) and to eventual inky black.

And life can bombard you from all directions too. The shrapnel can shape, sharpen or in a worst case scenario shred your wits. I am sure I have had the occasion to taste all that and raise a toast too, while doing it, in recognition of the inevitability and the acceptance of the circumstances, with enlightened resignation.

Now, I am at my wit’s end, for sure.

Perhaps, I suppose then that I need not fear and that there is no case or cause for concern, for it’s the flow of life, taking you far and (away) from the madding crowd!

2 Responses to “Far from the madding crowd”

  1. Charles Says:

    Some where in 1940s we were taught Basic English and the School introduced us to Bright Story Books. They were shortened English Classics. That was a great start to stimulate reading. Thereafter the School opened a librarary. Later on I became the Librarian , and I used to come to school when ever time permited even during weekends and holidays, just to sit and read. I remember the R.L.Stevensen books and adventure stories that gave the interest in reading not only stories, novels and adventures but also, books on varied other subjects. But even today despite my bad eye sight I have never given up visiting Bookshops and come away with lot of detectives by Daniel Silva, John Grisham, Yasmina Kadra , Luca d’ Andrea etc. I read books on politics and religious philosophy largely through the eloctronic media and internet.

  2. Charles Says:

    Some where in 1940s we were taught Basic English and the School introduced us to Bright Story Books. They were shortened English Classics. That was a great start to stimulate reading. Thereafter the School opened a librarary. Later on I became the Librarian , and I used to come to school when ever time permited even during weekends and holidays, just to sit and read. I remember the R.L.Stevensen books and adventure stories that gave the interest in reading not only stories, novels and adventures but also, books on varied other subjects. But even today despite my bad eye sight I have never given up visiting Bookshops and come away with lot of detectives by Daniel Silva, John Grisham, Yasmina Kadra , Luca d’ Andrea etc. I read books on politics and religious philosophy largely through the eloctronic media and internet.

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